Even as waterway tourism projects have earned much hype in the Emerging Kerala investors’ meet, water transportation facilities for the residents from the suburbs of Kochi remain a distant dream.
According to Kerala State Water Transport Department officials, the demand for starting four boat services connecting small boat jetties in the city have been remaining on paper for over two years.
As per the proposal, there is plan to connect Ernakulam with Thevara and Kakkanad via boat services. The other proposals include the Thoppumpady-High Court ferry service, Kamalakadavu-Eranakulam-Pizhala ferry service and the Ernakulam-Mulavukad-Chittoor-Kadamakkudy ferry services. “However, the state government is yet to give its approval for the projects which would benefit thousands of passengers on a daily basis,” said Kerala State Water Transport Department Ernakulam Superintendent Joseph Xavier.
The services would also be a boost for the KSWTD sector, currently reeling under acute fund shortage.
If sanctioned, the boat services can pave way for faster and efficient means of travelling in and around the city.
“A lot of time is required to reach these locations these place by road. Once we get the government nod, we can start the boat services immediately,” he said.
However, officials also cite that the state government is dilly-dallying with the proposals owing to the burden of creating additional posts which would be required if the project has to be made a reality.
“Currently, there are only 50 posts allotted to the KSWTD sector in Kochi. The introduction of more boat services would require additional posts, which the government officials state requires a huge amount of time. We have approached them quite many a number of times, an official with the department said.
He also said the boats would be immediately rolled out if the government gives its nod soon. The proposal aims to increase the connectivity of people living in isolated areas to have an easier, faster and cheaper access to road services with the help of boat services.