The Vyttila-Kakkanad boat service which is expected to benefit hundreds of commuters will be launched on November 19.
Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas will flag off the service operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) at 4 pm.
KSWTD Director Shaji V Nair said the specially-designed boat constructed by the Steel Industries Kerala Ltd (SILK) in Kannur and brought to Kochi a few weeks ago was ready for service. The officials have also completed the trial run of the boat along the Kadambrayar river.
“Currently, only direct services will be operated between the two jetties. The public can reach Vyttila or Kakkanad within 20 minutes. We will later consider fixing stops at other jetties,” the Director said. At least, nine services will be operated per day.
Based on reports from the NATPAC, the boat fare has been fixed at `8. “After we launch more services on the route, the rates may be changed. Currently, we will operate the boat service at `8,” said KSWTD Ernakulam Transport Superintendent Sathyan.
The total length of the canal from Vyttila to Kakkanad is 5 km. The officials said that they will prepare a detailed schedule of the services in the coming days.
The boat service has been mooted as a feeder system for the Kochi Metro Rail. Those who alight from the Metro as well as from the KSRTC and private buses that halt at the Vyttila hub can make use of the service.
The work of the boat jetty at Vyttila, including the laying of tiles, roofing of the waiting shed, the construction of exclusive ramps for passengers as well as the motorbikes cost a total of `24 lakh. A similar boat jetty has been constructed at Kakkanad, near Infopark. The African moss along the Kadambrayar river has also been weeded out, officials said.
The KSWTD will soon construct a station master’s office at the Hub in Vyttila. The boat can ferry 10 motorbikes and 50 passengers at a time.
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