KOCHI: Rejuvenating greater Kochi's water transport network, 23 electric boats with a 100- passenger capacity each will start commercial operations in the backwaters here in December 2019.
The air-conditioned boats (costing Rs 4.6 crore each), to be owned by the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd's (KMRL) Rs 750-crore Water Metro project, will run fully on solar power in three years. Tenders for manufacturing it will be floated in February.
KMRL Managing Director A P M Mohammed Hanish told media persons the state had expressed its willingness to recommend the project to the Centre to include it in the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME).
The Water Metro project is being implemented with the financial support of German bank KFW, which will provide Rs 576 crore as a long-term borrowing. The state will put in Rs 102 crore as loan while its promised sum of Rs 72 crore for land acquisition take the project's total expenditure to Rs 750 crore.