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In an effort to improve urban mobility and to reduce carbon emissions in Kochi, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability laid a proposal to streamline freight movement in and out of the city.

The project proposes to look into all forms of material transport into the city, including of construction material and foodstuff. The study will cover large container trucks as well as small carriage vehicles.

The movement of large carriage vehicles in and out of the city during peak hours slows down vehicular movement, leading to excess fuel usage and carbon emissions. The smaller vehicles too play a role in freight movement as they transport cargo to different locations, both within and outside the city.

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The four-year-long project will be funded by the German Federal Ministry and will be carried out by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, an international organisation.

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and the city corporation are the key partners for the project.

The Union Ministry of Urban Development and the State Transport Ministry too would be involved in the project, said Ashish Rao Ghorpade, the project manager.

The city needs a streamlined traffic management and freight movement system for its growth. However, it needs to be an efficient and a planned one. The project would look into those aspects of freight management, said Ghorpade.

The ICLEI officials have initiated discussions with the civic authorities as well as the KMRL officials.

A tripartite agreement would be signed among the agencies for implementing the programme, he said. Various stakeholder agencies including traders and the Cochin Port Trust would be involved in the process, he added.

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