Kochi: After introduction of electric buses and autorickshaws, the stage is set for rolling out of E-RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off) vessel.
The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) plans to roll out an electric jhankar in the three-km Vaikom-Tavanakadavu section by early next year.
"The project was included in last budget. We've started its implementation. CUSAT has been entrusted with feasibility study," said Shaji V Nair, SWTD Director.
The study will calculate estimated cost of construction, operational expense, estimated ridership and ticket rates among others besides the technical elements. A report in this regard is expected to be submitted in three months.
"We're looking into the possibility of construction of the big vessel in the Cochin Shipyard. They've already rolled out two modern RoRo vessels for Kochi Corporation recently," the official said.
It was SWTD which first deployed solar ferry in the country, also in the Vaikom-Tavanakadavu section.
Upon realisation of the E-RoRo project, SWTD will again take lead in introduction of electric RoRo vessel in the country.
The environment-friendly E-RoRo vessel will incur only 10 per cent of operational cost when compared to that of a normal vessel. The department only needed to install charging points at its jetties.
"If the initial attempt turns out to be successful, we'll roll out more E-RoRos upon determining financially viable routes," the official said.
Meanwhile, construction of a Water Taxi is nearing completion at a private yard at Aroor in Alappuzha district.
"The hull work is completed. The 15-meter high-speed vessels will be deployed in Alappuzha and Kochi. We're in talks with online cab-hailing majors for their operation," he said....