KOCHI: Aiming to reduce water pollution and fuel consumption, the country’s first electric ro-ro service will be launched soon. With the feasibility study being conducted by the Department of Ship Technology, Cusat, reaching its final stages, the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) will begin the service within a year.
“SWTD approached Cusat to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed model. It is in the final stages. The ro-ro will be handed over to them very soon,” said Dr C B Sudheer, assistant professor, Department of Ship Technology, Cusat.
He said the feasibility study focuses on the materials that can be used to build the ro-ro and other technical factors. The ro-ro will run on the Vaikom-Thavanakkadavu route.
According to Sujith M, traffic superintendent, SWTD, Ernakulam region, the electric ro-ro will be big enough to carry around four trucks and 10-15 two-wheelers. It can be operated with both solar panels and batteries. “Based on the study, the technical details will be finalised. The work will begin after that. Lightweight material like aluminium will be used,” he added.
Though there is a plan to start the same service between Cochin Port and Goshree bridge, the decision is not yet finalised.