The fuelling station of the Kerala State Water Transport Department(KSWTD) at the Ernakulam boat jetty here will be inaugurated this month by Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed.
According to KSWTD director Shaji V Nair, the fuelling station, the work on which was completed nearly a month ago, was supposed to be thrown open this week. However, the delay in receiving the sanction from Chennai had resulted in postponing it.
“We sent the application almost two weeks ago and was expecting to nod to come soon so that the station can be commissioned this week itself. However, there was a delay. But, we expect to receive the nod next week itself,” Shaji V Nair said.
The official said once they receive the sanction, authorities from Chennai will conduct a visit to the station to enquire whether all the safety aspects are in place.
Once the approval is received, the station can be commissioned very soon. According to the officials, with the commissioning of the jetty, unnecessary fuel consumption of the KSWTD boats at Ernakulam can be reduced by two fold. Currently, all the boats running in Ernakulam sector have to be taken to the KINCO-run fuelling station at Thevara. This consumes upto 15 litres of diesel every day. Besides, the KSWTD has to pay extra wages to the employees who take the boats to Thevara.
“Once the project is commissioned, we can bring down the losses faced by the department faced in the Ernakulam sector,” he added. It was the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) which laid the 10,000 capacity tank at the station. A compound wall has also been erected so that the fuelling station won’t be hindrance to the public who arrive at the jetty. Initially, there were protests by the private boat operators in commissioning the station as they have been asked to move from the location.