The circular and short-distance boats of the Kerala State Water Transport Department in the city will soon sport bio-chemical toilets.
As part of its initial phase, the Vypeen ferry boat has been shifted to the dockyard at Thevara. The setting up of bio-toilets on all boats in the state is part of government orders to set up environment-friendly toilets in all boats, including tourist and private boats.
The state government has issued the orders based on a number of complaints and surveys which state that the water bodies are getting polluted by the sewage discharged from private houseboats, especially in Alappuzha.
The KSWTD was taking up the initiative to set a model for tourism and houseboats in the state. All the boats in the Fort Kochi-Vypeen routes may be fitted with bio-chemical toilets.
Currently, most of the houseboats plying in Kerala backwaters have normal toilets which dump septic waste directly into the water which in turn pollutes the environment.
However, there has been strong dissent against the decision to fix toilets in the boats plying in Fort Kochi-Vypeen routes. Currently, the Vypeen ferry boat service has been taken to the dockyard. To compensate for the lack of service at Vypeen, the Fort Kochi-Ernakulam circular boat has been shifted there. The passengers complain that the move has affected the passengers in the Fort Kochi route and the department officials have not taken any effort to supply extra boat services for this.