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By - Raj Verma, Priyanka Khanna, Jeyaraj Kalirajan, Nitish Padhan, Swetha Bhat, T M Shilpa, and Anurag Bajpai
The rapid urbanization of the country means that the public transport system is under increasing pressure from people living in cities and towns across the country. As a major player in tier-1 and tier-2 cities, the Metro has emerged as one of the most effective means of mobility induced in reduction of travel time and enhanced ease of commuting in urban areas. Behind this seemingly effortless ease of living lies a neglected factor of energy consumption by these mass transit systems.
In general, running metro train consumes about 1000 units of electricity per hour, which costs around Rs. 6500 per hour. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) alone consumes 1,100 million units of energy every year, which translates to an estimated amount of Rs 711.5 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 773.4 crore in 2019-20. In light of the increasing number of metro lines under construction, energy consumption will never decrease.
These numbers may appear really big but if we look at earlier situation when cars and scooters (~equivalent) as distributed polluting systems were there on roads in the cities, then the Metro is the possible solution to decarbonise the crowded cities.
Against this background, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) launched ‘Green Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) Rating to enable the new rail based MRTS to apply green concepts during the design and construction phase, reducing the overall environmental impact.
Hence under the IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) Rating and Platinum Plaques achieved by the new 9 elevated metros built in Kanpur ensured that the new metros would go green.
Achieving the highest green certification for all 9 stations was no easy feat. UPMRC hired GreenTree Global, a pioneering firm dedicated to Net Zero and energy efficiency, went to great lengths to strive for this goal.
Green initiatives under taken in the Kanpur Metro’s are…
SITE SELECTION AND PLANNING
• During the project, the project team developed a Site Environment Management Plan to manage tasks like conserving top soil, ensuring wheel washing facilities, taking measures to mitigate the noise pollution generated by the construction, properly disposing of wastes, and managing traffic.
• During the construction, the project team provided the basic facilities for the welfare of the construction workers such as clean drinking water and sanitation and safety tool kit to each worker during the construction.
• All the 9 elevated stations are located within the 100m walkable distance from the nearest bus stop and dedicated parking spots for the commuters to park their own vehicles
• Along with all the projects following the universal design codes, the infrastructures also ensured about mitigating the Heat Island Effect through SRI paints on the external roofs and preserving 575 trees out of 930 existing tress and planted with nearly 16,000 new samplings.
• As part of the project team's efforts to conserve water, various measures such as Rain Water Harvesting were introduced to the elevated stations. All 9 elevated stations captured approximately 75% of the run-off water, using water efficient fixtures reduced water consumption by 45% from the base case, when considered for a single metro station such as the IIT Metro Station.
• For operations and Maintenance (O&M) Plan has been taken into consideration for rain water harvesting and HVAC cooling towers.
• The project team involved various agencies in monitoring and maintaining the performance of VRV systems, lighting, DG sets, elevators, escalators, pumps, and PV panels for energy efficiency.
• By implementing Regenerative Braking System, the project team was able to save 42.8% of energy and installed 100% LED lighting throughout the stations.
• The project team separated the waste properly during construction, and 100% of the waste generated was diverted from landfills.
• Replacing civil and interior materials in stations with recycled materials saved 20% of the total cost.
• 30% of the materials used during the construction of the metro stations are sourced locally.
INDOOR ENVIROMENTAL QUALITY
• Air exchange inside the building and the stations has been provided by cross ventilation through the use of windows, doors, and perforated ACP panels.
• CO2 and Air Quality monitoring systems are used for monitoring the thermal comfort of occupants in a room; including measures such as source control, HVAC protection, pathway interruption, use of low VOC content and Eco-friendly housekeeping chemicals in all stations.
Metro reduces travel time and makes commuting in urban areas easier. Therefore, understanding the prevailing need to conserve resources, and making them sustainable is what all transportation modes ought to do, just as Kanpur Metro has achieved the best performance level and inspires all of us to use it.