Kochi: An expert team from the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has suggested either foreign collaboration or technology transfer to realise the State Water Transport Department’s ambitious project to introduce an amphibian bus, that can ply both on land and water.
The team led by Dr C. B. Sudheer, Associate Professor, Department of Ship Technology, submitted the draft report detailing technical feasibility to the SWTD the other day.
“The import of such vehicles will require a heavy investment, over `7 crore for a minimum capacity vehicle. Hence the Water Transport Department could seek a technology transfer from a foreign firm or form a collaboration,” Sudheer said.
An ordinary bus chassis could be converted into an amphibian vehicle but technology for making the under-water portion water tight and the propulsion making is crucial.
“Currently, no one is indulging in such activities in the country. Further the underwater part should comply to the IRS specification on factors like thickness,” the expert said.
Noting that such vehicle is best suitable for tourism-related purpose, the report suggested for deploying the same in short ferry routes. “The vehicle could directly enter into water using a specifically build ramp and float for a short distance before resuming journey through land. A major distance should be through land,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources said a similar attempt by Goa Tourism to deploy amphibian vehicle received a set back when the vehicle faced difficulty in setting back to land mode after travelling in the water.
“We won’t rush into the project. The CUSAT report will be studied in detail and all technical and operational feasibility looked into before going for the project,” said Shaji V Nair, SWTD director....