KOCHI:The major focus of the ‘Integrated Water Transportation System’ for Kochi will be the procurement of modernised boats. The Cabinet, on Wednesday, gave approval for the project which is being initiated by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and it will be implemented with the financial support of German Development Bank, KfW.
As per the DPR prepared by Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC), two variants of air-conditioned and Wi-Fi enabled glass reinforced plastic (GRP) catamaran passenger ferries with a capacity of 50 and 100 respectively will be pressed into service. The boats with diesel electric hybrid-based propulsion system are recommended to operate at an optimal speed of 8 knots, with the potential to increase it up to 12 knots, once the recommended dedicated water transit corridor is established. The boats shall be powered by a combination of twin diesel electric generators and electric motors (PMSM) for propulsion.
Apart from the ferry service development, the project also recommends developing existing and new access roads providing increased accessibility to the jetties and also enhanced mobility within the islands, infrastructure for ensuring safety and security to all its users by way of active and well-lit streets and CCTV cameras, promoting use of small occupancy feeder modes such as mini/midi feeder buses and electric rickshaws to access the jetties, promoting property development around the jetties and making more space, non-motorised transport infrastructure, facilities and infrastructure enabling smooth disabled friendly mobility, public bicycle sharing schemes including development of bicycle docking stations are also recommended at all the jetty locations.
“We are delighted that the project prepared by the KMRL has been finally approved by the state government. This is not only a transportation project but also a livelihood improvement project for the people living on the islands and along Kochi backwaters,” said KMRL managing director Elias George.