KOCHI: The long-standing demand of residents of vypeen island for a full-fledged service of Ro-Ro vessels will materialise with the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) operating it to Fort Kochi from Monday. The service will be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in two schedules.
The first service will operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the second from 8.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
KSINC has said that the boat service between Vype en and Fort Kochi will be stopped from Monday.
It was in 2018 that the Kochi corporation rolled out two Roll-On Roll-Off vessels but the KSINC, entrusted with the operation, failed to conduct full-fledged service in the Fort Kochi-Vypeen sector.
Passengers have been complaining that only one Ro-Ro vessel was deployed from morning to evening while the other was operated for only a few hours in the evening. This had resulted in long queues at both jetties. The modern vessels were deployed after withdrawing two jhankars a year ago.
The sector, cutting sea channel, provides easy access to hundreds of vehicles from Vypeen to Fort Kochi and back. If the vehicles take the road route, they will need an hour instead of the 10-minute ride by jhankar, to reach the destination. The heavy traffic congestion on the city routes is another hazard in the road journey.
KSINC had complained that the Kochi corporation had not arranged annual maintenance contract with the Cochin Shipyard for the Ro-Ro vessels. KSINC operated the second vessel only during peak hours so far. Now, the issues have been sorted out with the Kochi Corporation.
Initially, KSINC had pointed to the shortage of expert drivers, but now there are three ‘masters’ to operate the vessels. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the Ro-Ro service in the section....