Kochi: The Kerala State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is keen to extend the City Water Bus, the first feeder service of the Kochi Metro, to Infopark so as to make its operations profitable. However, irrigation department's “laxity” on dredging a three-km area is holding up its plan.
Though launched with much ado, services aimed at techies was not successful as anticipated with the boat currently plying only up to Chitrapuzha Bridge, a good three km away from Infopark campus. The situation was slightly improved after the Metro introduced feeder buses to connect Infopark and Civil station from there in June. Even free Wi-Fi services were offered onboard to woo riders.
The collections crossed Rs 50, 000 per month barrier then but it was well below the targeted Rs 80, 000. “We’re very much keen to extend the service so that Infopark employees could make use of it. However, the areas beyond Chittattukara needs dredging and also the removal of a bund. The local MLA too expressed his willingness to provide `30 lakh for the purpose. However, the irrigation department entrusted with the dredging is yet to respond,” said SWTD director Shaji V. Nair.
Currently, the boat commences its 20-minute journey from the Vytilla Hub at 7 am, 8 am, 9.20 am, 11 am, 1.30 pm, 3.20 pm, 4.40 pm and 5.50 pm. They also offer a facility to carry two-wheelers. Meanwhile, two more boat jetties are under construction at Irumpanam and Thuthiyoor, opening the possibility of extending the services to these areas.