KOCHI: With the state government finalising the fare for the boat services of the Kochi Water Metro, the commercial operations are likely to begin next month as an Onam gift to Kochiites. The service will be launched on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route. The first boat manufactured by Cochin Shipyard will be handed over by August second week. The Onam festival will begin on August 20 and the services are likely to be launched then, according to sources with Water Metro.
The government had announced on Thursday that Rs 20 will be the minimum fare for travelling in the advanced ferries through the backwaters of Kochi. A commuter can travel up to a distance of three kilometres with the minimum charge. From there on, the fare will be J4 for every one kilometre. The Cochin Shipyard will be constructing 23 hybrid passenger boats for the project at an estimated cost of Rs 175 crore. The boats will be handed over in a phased manner.
Under the Water Metro project, implemented with the financial support of the German Development Bank, KfW, 23 boats with a capacity of 100 passengers and 55 boats with a capacity of 50 passengers will be rolled out. A total of 41 boat jetties will be modernised for the project.