KOCHI: The construction work for the Kochi Water Metro project is progressing at a fast pace and the authorities are hopeful of launching the service by January 2021, the target set for commencing operation. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd is overseeing the works to ensure timely completion of the project, said an official.The construction of terminals at Vyttila, Kakkanad, High Court Junction, Vypeen, Cheranalloor and Eloor is progressing at a fast pace. Meanwhile, the tender procedures for the terminals at Bolgatty, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kadamakudi, Paliam Thuruth, Cheranalloor, South Chittoor, Mulavukadu North and Ernakulam Ferry have been completed.
These terminals will ensure better connectivity between the suburban areas of Kochi and the mainland. The Kochi Water Metro is building world-class terminals akin to the stations of Kochi Metro Rail. The ticketing facilities and entry/exit arrangements will also be similar.The water metro stations will be differently-abled friendly and the boat jetties are being constructed in such a way that they float on water according to the water level.
This will ensure hassle-free access to the boat during high tide and low tide. The boats are designed to carry up to three wheelchairs at a time.The first boat being built by Cochin Shipyard will be handed over in December. This boat will have a capacity to carry 100 passengers. The next four boats are expected to be handed over by March 2021.
There will be 23 boats with a carrying capacity of 100 passengers and 55 boats with a capacity to carry 50 people. The boatyard will have the facility to repair up to eight boats at a time and will be located at KINFRA park. Government land has been made available for construction work and acquisition of private land is in progress, said the official.
The Kochi Water Metro network is being developed by spending Rs 678 crore and will have 38 stations on 15 routes covering a distance of 78.6 km. The Water Metro will solve the travel woes of the islanders in Vypeen, Willingdon, Edakochi, Kumbalam, Nettoor, Vyttila, Eloor, Kakkanad, Bolgatty and Mulavukadu. The Water Metro service will also provide connectivity to major tourist destinations in the district.