Kochi: After the state water transport Department, the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) is all set to roll out solar-powered boat, kicking off its long-term plan to switch over to green fuels.
“The construction of 100-passenger capacity twin engine catamaran boat is progressing at a private boat yard in Colombo,” said Prasanth Nair, managing director, KSINC. “The boat, expected to be rolled out in three months, will be used for tourism services in Kochi backwaters.”
He said the KSINC is planning to convert its existing boats to solar-powered mode subject to “fund availability”. “We’re bringing in a concept where future activities will be done giving prominence to the cause of environment,” he said.
The SWTD was the first to experiment with solar power when it deployed the country’s first solar ferry in Vaikom-Tavanakadavu section back in January 2017. The department is in the process of rolling out two more solar-powered ferries and a cruise liner.
Meanwhile, the corporation is planning to play the role of facilitator in tourism sector.
“As per the plan, we’ll provide infrastructure facilities for the tourism department to launch water sports activities,” Mr Nair said. “We’ll be rolling out water scooters, kayaks (low canoe-like boat), pedal boats and banana rides in the initial phase. The project will be presented before the district tourism promotion councils soon.”
The success of sea-going luxury cruise liner Nefertiti and sun-set cruise Sagararani has encouraged the agency to go in for further diversify its activities.
The KSINC is also set to deploy fast ferry boat Mishel for tourists soon. “The construction of 20-seater catamaran-type fibre glass boat got held up for several reasons for months altogether. Now the work is finally over and we’re studying feasibility of its deployment in Kochi backwaters as a tourist boat,” he added.
A similar boat, Cleopatra, is now deployed in Kozhikode....