KOCHI: The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and German Development Bank KfW will sign an agreement on Friday on the ‘disbursement procedure and schedule’ for the EUR 85-million loan (around Rs 597 crore) for the integrated water transport project in Kochi. The total cost of the Water Metro project is Rs 747 crore, excluding the Rs 72 crore estimated for land acquisition. The KfW will be providing EUR 85 million as long term soft loan. Of the total project cost, the State Government will be contributing Rs 102 crore.
The main aspect of the project is procurement of modernised boats. Two variants of air-conditioned and Wi-Fi enabled catamaran passenger ferries with passenger capacity of 50 and 100, respectively, are mooted for the project. The boats will operate at an optimal speed of 8 knots, with an option to increase the speed up to 12 knots once the dedicated water transit corridor is established. The agreement will be signed by KMRL director (Finance) Abraham Oommen and Felix Klauda, Head of Division, Urban Development and Mobility, KfW, at the KMRL office.
Apart from development of the ferry service, the project also envisages development of the existing and new access roads to jetties and islands; infrastructure for ensuring safety and security to passengers by way of active and well-lit streets and CCTV cameras; and promotion of small-occupancy feeder modes such as feeder buses and electric rickshaws to access the jetties.
Tourism is also proposed to be promoted as part of the project. In phase-I, 16 out of the 38 jetties will be developed.
The official inauguration of the Water Metro project will be held on Saturday at the Sacred Heart Church ground at Kothad, Kadamakkudy island. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the project.