Kochi: The fate of the Ro-Ro services between Fort Kochi and Vypeen, launched by Kochi Corporation, remained in uncertain water with Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), the agency entrusted with the running of the services, stating that it would able to operate the service only partially due to the lack of sufficient experienced persons to run the vessel.
In a report submitted to the Corporation on Wednesday, KSINC stated that it would be able to operate the Ro-Ro services only for eight hours per day as only one trained person was available for operating the vessel.
The corporation has decided to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and take a decision on the future course of action.
A steering committee will also be held before the matter to be taken up in the corporation council, mayor Soumini Jain said. The deadline given by the civic body to the KSINC expired on Tuesday.
The KSINC stated that it would able to operate a normal jhankar for the remaining hours after conducting a proper trial run of the jhankar, a senior official of the KSINC told DC. "We have informed the civic body that we would able to operate the Ro-Ro service for eight hours from Monday. Now it is for the Corporation to take a decision," the official said. He said couple of persons, with expertise in Ro-Ro vessels operation, have shown interest but it may take three or four weeks before they are deployed to run the service.
The suspension of the Ro-Ro service immediately after the inauguration by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on April 28 has snowballed into a major controversy with the Opposition in the civic body alleging that the Corporation was treating the matter in a callous way. Apart from the lack of trained persons, the ferried lacked the mandatory clearances from the regulatory agencies concerned.
The KSINC has highlighted the risk elements in running the vessel without adequately trained persons in its report to the civic body. Negotiating the mooring dolphins in the Vypeen jetty is a risky affair and only well-trained persons can handle the vessel, said KSINC officials.