Kochi: The dilapidated boat jetties in and around Ernakulam are finally set to be renovated, a development that is expected to boost water transport in the region.
Acting on the request of the transport ministry, the minor irrigation department has prepared a Rs 12 crore project plan to renovate and increase depth of six boat jetties – Ernakulam Jetty, Vypeen, Fort Kochi, Kumbalam and Thevara.
“For long, the boat jetties were lying in dilapidated condition, making it difficult for boats to anchor and depart. We brought the issue to the notice of the people’s representatives during a high-level meet held on June 12 at the transport minister’s office when the direction to prepare a project plan was issued,” said a senior irrigation department official.
A joint survey was held by the senior officials of the irrigation and state water transport department (SWTD) to identify the works to be done before the plan was formulated.
“The draft plan will be submitted to the transport ministry in a week,” the official said.
The vital work to be undertaken is with regard to Mattancherry jetty, which got almost damaged and got no depth, forcing SWTD to even suspend boat services many a times.
Dredging will be held there apart from renovating the boat jetty. The proposed facilities include a ticket counter, crew rest room, toilet and snacks bar.
Similarly, Fort Kochi and Vypeen jetties will be renovated by setting up new platforms and ticket counters besides fixing roofing issues. At Ernakulam jetty, the fuel pump station will be renovated besides setting up hand railings.
While the two jetties at Kumbalam will be reconstructed, the two at Thevara too will be modified to suit future travel requirement, the official said.
“We’re all set to introduce seven new boats which are longer than existing ones. The renovation of jetties is a must for their deployment. Also the fast ferry ‘Vega’ could be allotted stops at places like Kumbalam if the jetties are renovated and anchoring facilities provided,” said M. Sujith, traffic superintendent, SWTD....