KOCHI: Even 18 months after the first Ro-Ro vessel project was launched on the Fort Kochi -Vypeen route, uncertainty continues over the commissioning of the second Ro-Ro vessel on the route.
The reason: The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) which was entrusted with the operation of the Ro-Ro vessel is yet to find sufficient crew to operate the vessel. Though the KSINC has started providing training, it was later suspended after the propeller of the second vessel got damaged. The vessel is at the dockyard of the Cochin Shipyard for several months.
"Yes, the Kochi Corporation's Ro-Ro vessel has landed in troubled water as the KSINC is still clueless about its future operation. Though they have started providing training, they have failed to find a qualified person to operate the Ro-Ro vessel. The KSINC proved they are only capable of operating a single vessel on-the Fort Kochi - Vypeen route," said K J Antony, Opposition leader, Kochi, Corporation, adding it is also an administrative failure from the Kochi Corporation.
He also added the KSINC will have to spend nearly Rs 20 lakh as repairing cost for the Ro-Ro vessel which is at the Shipyard's dockyard.
" It is learnt the KSINC is not ready to spend such a whopping amount from their pocket. The uncertainty will again delay the full-fledged operation of vessel," said Antony.
Majnu Komath, Fort Vypeen Janakeeya Kootayma chairman, said the Corporation lost its interest over conducting the Ro-Ro service.
"Almost one and a half years have passed after the Ro-Ro started plying on the route, but the second vessel still remains underutilised. Though the Corporation entrusted the KSINC to operate it, the civic body has a responsibility to conduct the service," said Komath.
Meanwhile, the Corporation officials said KSINC purposefully made the western Kochiites be at the receiving end.
"It was a few days ago the KSINC launched the Nefertiti ship. If they have staff shortage for operating the Ro-Ro vessels how can they operate the touristvessel? Their promises are fake as they failed to keep it," said a Corporation officer requesting anonymity.
However, the KSINC officials were unavailable for comment when Express tried to call them.