The Vyttila-Kakkanad boat service, which was launched over a week ago and was expected to benefit hundreds of passengers along the route, is yet to gather momentum.
The service is witnessing a lower patronage than expected, officials with the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD), which is responsible for operating the services, said.
They added that the average daily collection last week was less than `2,000, which was minimal compared to the other services being operated by the department.
“We saw a slight increase in the collection only on Sunday as it was a holiday. A lot of migrant labourers used the service to get down at Kakkanad and vice-versa,” officials added.Meanwhile, demands to change the timing of the services is being raised from various quarters.
“We have received complaints that the timings of the boat service in the morning and evening hours were not people-friendly. There are demands to extend the service. This is our second week. We will definitely consider the suggestions after the operations become more steady,” KSWTD director Shaji V Nair said.
However, he added that there were slight difficulties in operating the first service before 9.00 am. “Currently, the first service begins at 9.15 am from Vyttila. The boat reaches Kakkanad by 9.45 am. The public have submitted requests to operate the first service before 9.00 am so that they can reach their work place on time. There are technical issues in this regard as more personnel will have to be deployed. Besides, there are demands to extent the timings of the last service which is operated at 5.20 pm for the benefit of the Collectorate employees, to at least 6 pm. If it is made, it can benefit the Infopark employees,” the KSWTD director said.
Proposals have been mooted to extend the service to Infopark, which will be of immense benefit for the employees there. The KSWTD have introduced a halt for the service at the Eroor Boat Jetty. There are also demands to extend the boat service to Poothotta.
District Collector P I Sheikh Pareeth said extra efforts are being taken to ensure that the service is more passenger friendly.