CM to launch Water Metro project on Feb. 22

The ₹747-crore Water Metro project to introduce a fleet of 78 air-conditioned ferries in the Greater Kochi area will be inaugurated online on February 22 by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, sources at Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) said. This is a week and a half earlier than was estimated.

The first 100-passenger vessel that is slated to roll out of Cochin Shipyard later this month, is slated to begin service on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route, where work on terminals at either end is in its last lap. It will undergo trial runs for a few weeks before the formal inauguration.

The first batch of 23 vessels will have seating capacity for 50 passengers, while another up to 50 people can commute standing. The vessels will have speed of over 8 knots (over 15 km per hour), which is double the speed of conventional ferries (except SWTD’s fast ferry Vega-120 that travels much faster) that operate in Kochi.

A team from IIM-Kozhikode is slated to shortly suggest a fare structure for the Water Metro project. “The deadline to submit the recommendations (including on the basis of online survey) expired on Wednesday. The team is keen to expand the ambit of their survey and have fanned out to social media platforms and the target group of the Water Metro project — thousands of people who live on islands around mainland Kochi,” metro sources said.

Armed with Malayalam and English questionnaires, they are in touch with self-help groups and Ayalkoottams to get an idea of how much fare probable commuters consider as reasonable and affordable.

The Hindu
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