KOCHI: German bank KfW- funded Water Metro project will be commissioned by April 14, 2019, said Kochi Metro Rail Limited managing director Muhammad Hanish. While signing a memorandum of understanding with Greater Cochin Develo-pment Authority for the maintenance of the streetscape at Panampilly Nagar on Tuesday, the KMRL chief said that the tender process for manufacturing of boats will be completed by December end.
The Water Metro envisages development of 16 routes, connecting 38 jetties across 10 islands and spans a total route network of 76 kms. As many as 78 modern fuel-efficient, air-conditioned boats will be procured under the project. The KFW team is in the city to review the Water Metro project. The German delegation is headed by Lisbeth Müller-Hofstede, senior policy officer-India, Natural Resources Manag-ement, Financial Sys-tems Development, BMZ, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooper-ation and Devel-opment (Germany). The delegation also visited the project sites. During the meeting, KFW expressed willingness to explore the possibilities of extending support to the Smart City Mission project.
MoU for streetscape maintenance:
As per the memorandum of understanding signed between the two agencies, KMRL is authorised to maintain the streetscape in Panampilly Nagar for five years. The Metro agency is given a free hand to generate revenue from it and utilise it for meeting the maintenance cost. A committee will be formed for monitoring and coordinating the routine maintenance of the streetscape. The committee shall comprise two nominees each from the two agencies and one nominee who is nominated by GCDA and KMRL in consensus. The two councillors of the divisions in which the streetscape walkway is situated will be nominees of Kochi Corporation. In addition, one nominee each from the two residents associations concerned will be permanent invitees to the committee. The MoU was signed by M C Joseph, GCDA secretary, Abdul Majeed P K, assistant secretary of Kochi Corporation, and Mohammed Hanish, KMRL MD in the presence of C N Mohanan, Chairman GCDA.
New ferry service to Vypeen:
Ending the uncertainty over the operation of the new passenger ferry service on the Fort Kochi - Vypeen route, the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) is all set to conduct the operation. A trial run of the new boat Fort Queen was successfully conducted along the route on Tuesday. The navigation agency will operate the ‘Fort Queen’ boat on the route until a special purpose vehicle is formed for the service of modern RO-RO vessels.
The City Corporation has signed the agreement with KSINC to temporarily entrust the ferry service to the agency on Monday. “The service of the existing Pappy boat will be stopped soon after the new boat is introduced. A notice has been given to suspend the jhunkar service to facilitate construction of the mooring jetty for RO-RO vessels,” said sources at the Corporation.
The modern boat constructed by the KSINC at a cost of `1.6 crore can accommodate 150 passengers instead of the usual 100. With the new boat in place, the civic body will terminate the agreement with the owner of ‘Pappy’ the boat currently operating in the route. The City Corporation has decided to introduce the twin-engine boat in the high risk ferry route based on a report on the Fort Kochi boat tragedy submitted to the Local Self-Government Depar-tment. The report recommended that double-engine boats in the route would prevent drifting away of the boat to the sea channel. The boat has been constructed in strict compliance with all the safety norms.