KOCHI: The RO-RO barge, which was introduced in February 2011 to reduce the movement of trucks bound to International Container Terminal through Kochi roads, has completed a total carriage of two lakh as on November 5, 2015. The barge named ‘Sakra Transporters’ commutes between Willingdon and Bolgatty Islands. The barge, which can carry 20 container trucks, has been doing a big service of preventing day time movement of container trucks from South Kerala, a press statement from Cochin Port said.
The movement of container trucks through Kundannoor Junction to Vallarpadam through the busy city roads of Vyttila, Palarivattom and Edappally can be avoided by availing the services of RO-RO barge. Since container trucks are not permitted on city roads during day time the alternate route takes up to 45 km.
“The container trucks from Kollam and Alleppey take a deviation from Kundannoor to Willingdon Island and are driven on board the barge at Willingdon Island RO-RO jetty. The barge moves through the canal and reaches Bolgatty RO-RO jetty where the trucks are driven out and move towards ICTT. The movement through the canal takes only twenty minutes,” it further said.
This is the first RO-RO container movement introduced in the country. The service is by a double ended ferry craft which facilitates driving in through either side and therefore, saves operational time. Similar services are being attempted by other Ports in the country. The service is being operated by LOTS shipping company of Cochin. The service is jointly managed and supported by Cochin Port Trust and Inland Waterways Authority of India.