Considering the underutilised state of the Ernakulam Boat Jetty here, steps are being taken to develop it as a major integration hub in the city.
A meeting will soon be called at the state government-level to finalise the construction of the complex which will house the offices of the Kerala State Water Transport Department, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and the Tourism Department.
A final decision on who will undertake the overall development of the jetty will be made at the meeting. Proposals had earlier been forwarded to entrust the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) as the implementation agency for the complete makeover of the jetty.
District Collector P I Sheikh Pareeth said talks are on regarding handing over the work to the KMRL. “The decision at the government-level is on the final stages. We are confident that the work will be taken up by the KMRL. A master plan has already been completed by a local architect firm which will be submitted to the government soon,” the collector added.
A proposal has also been forwarded for Metro connectivity at the jetty to the state government. If the approval is received for the KMRL to go ahead with the renovation project, a global tender will be called. The KMRL already has plans to construct their corporate office at the jetty if the land is handed over to them. There are still disputes regarding the ownership of the land which is nearly resolved, the collector said.
According to officials, tourism and leisure corridors can be constructed on the ground floor which will be a blessing for the tourists. The offices of the stakeholders ,including the Tourism Department, KSRTC and KSWTD will be set up in the first floor. An iconic structure of the KRML office will be developed in the top-most floor.
A meeting was held by the Transport Minister Aryadan Muhammed, Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar in July regarding the development of the jetty. At the meeting, there were talks to hand over the work of the jetty to the Tourism Department, officials said.
“However, since we have not been intimidated on the minutes of the meeting, we are not yet sure to whom the work has been entrusted. We are completely left in the dark about the development of the jetty,” they said. The jetty is most ideal for enabling integrated transport facility connecting the waterways, road transport and the upcoming Metro Rail.