The Maradu Municipality has withdrawn its boat, ‘Priyadarshini’, from ferry service connecting Nettoor Ambalakkadavu and Thevara. The local body was forced to take the decision owing to the frequent repair works required for the boat. According to sources with municipality, the construction faults of the boat had led to repeated maintainence works, thus causing a huge financial lose to the local body.
The municipality launched the boat a year ago bearing the full production cost of `10 lakh. “Within a year, the authorities had to repair the boat several times. They had to spent a total of `1.5 lakh for maintenance of the boat till now. An amount of `1.5 lakh is needed to re-introduce the boat to the service. This has forced the municipal authorities to take the boat out of the service,” they said.
Sources said the local body will take legal action against the private party who built the boat. “It was built by a private party chosen by the local body. The private party had failed to construct the boat considering the low water-level and other specialties of Kochi Backwaters. The municipality paid a total of `800 a day to maintain the boat. Moreover, we had to spend a lot for its repair work. Hence, the council unanimously decided to take legal procedures against him,” they added.
However, Sukumari Indran, councillor and chairman of the Priyadarshini Boat Service Management Committee said the municipality will continue boat service using the help of a private boat. “The new boat service is of immense help to people, especially students and workers, on the western side of Nettoor. Besides, it also helped the people to reach the southern side easily. Hence, we had decided to continue the service. Now we are operating the service by taking private boats on rent,” she added.