The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) officials, along with the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD), conducted a feasibility survey on Wednesday along the National Waterway 3 to study the possibility of developing an urban water transport route from Thevara ferry to Kakkanad.
Earlier in the month, a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) committee was formed to develop a viable urban water transport system, coordinating different agencies which will function as a feeder mechanism for the Kochi Metro. The boat trip, which started from Thevara Ferry, passed through Maradu, Champakkara, Vyttila hub and Eroor to arrive at Kakkanad. KMRL MD and convener of the TOD committee Elias George conducted the survey along with KSWTD managing director Shaji V Nair and other officials. “A key objective of the Kochi Metro Rail project is also to catalyse the development of a comprehensive urban transport system for Kochi. It will be one of the few metro projects in the world which will be integrated with the water transport system that interchange facilities at Vytila Mobility Hub and Edappally station. A condition for the sanction of the Kochi Metro project is the preparation of integrated and comprehensive mobility plan for Kochi city as well as the creation of a commonly integrated mobility card and ticketing facility,” said George. Shaji V Nair said that the boat services will begin on an experimental basis through the Vyttila hub-Kakkanad route once the boat jetty near the hub is ready.
“If found feasible, regular services will be introduced soon,” said Shaji V Nair. The average time estimated for the Vyttila-Kakkanad journey is 25 minutes. The rates will be fixed according to the reports from the NATPAC, the agency assigned to conduct a feasibility study on the project.
The TOD committee is also trying to get the water transportation project included in the second phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for financial assistance, stated a press release from the KMRL.