Kochi: While the Kochi Metro Rail authorities are planning a series of projects to promote water transport to decongest city roads and to divert traffic during Metro Rail construction, other agencies like the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation also is coming up with new boat services. The KSINC is planning to introduce ‘Fast Ferry service’ to connect west Kochi areas with Vyttila Mobility Hub through Champakkara Canal.
The agency is planning a ferry service to bring down the travelling time and to attract passengers. Currently, for commuters from west Kochi areas, it takes more than two-and-a-half hours to reach Vyttila by bus. As per current plans, the agency plans to develop fibre reinforced plastic-made boats which are lighter, faster and more reliable as compared to traditional wooden and steel boats.
The boats are expected to move at a speed of 20 to 22 km per hour. Renovation of existing jetties which are in a dilapidated condition and also construction of new jetties in the region are in the pipeline. The KSINC has allocated `5 cr for new boats and constructing jetties.
“We will be introducing faster and lighter boats which will cover places in west Kochi. Passengers will prefer the ferry service if faster and more comfortable boats are introduced along different routes,” said a KSINC official.
The School of Management Studies of Cochin University of Science and Technology has already carried out a feasibility study for the Fast Ferry Service.
The Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) had submitted a report in 2010 to the City Corporation proposing to develop a network of ferry services connecting suburban areas to city centres and making maximum use of the canal and inland waterways for transport needs. The major proposal was to launch special type of catamarans called ‘Kochi Cats’, which could be used for smooth and fast ferry services between the islands....