KOCHI: With the announcement that the proposed semi high-speed rail will have a station at Kakkanad-Infopark, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd will extend the water metro services to connect the same with the speed train’s terminus. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, KMRL authorities said the water metro will be extended to the SilverLine terminus and a jetty will come up near the proposed station as an integrated hub.Presently, KMRL has completed the terminals at Vyttila and Kakkanad (Chittethukara) and is getting ready for operation. With high-speed boats, it will take only 20 minutes from Vyttila Hub to Kakkanad.
Vyttila is the first transport hub in India where the metro, water metro and bus terminals meet. This will be connected to the SilverLine Kakkanad station as well, which will make it the first hub where the rail, water metro and metro meet. The water metro will form the easiest connection mode to the city centre at Vyttila without any traffic congestion. From the Infopark station, SilverLine trains will take only 10 minutes to Nedumbassery airport.
The construction of 100-pax boats for the Rs 747-crore water metro project is progressing at Cochin Shipyard. The state-of-the-art battery-operated boats are the first of their kind in the world. The boats are very efficient and the design model was tested in the Maritime Research Institute, Netherlands, before the pandemic started. The propulsion system is by Siemens, which uses the advanced LTO batteries that can be charged in less than 15 minutes.
The water metro got its environmental clearance in October 2019 which was obtained in record time for any such wide-scale project in India after a full-season study. The project is spread across 38 terminals on 10 different islands.KMRL started the construction of water metro terminals immediately after obtaining the environmental clearance. The first two terminals were poised to be completed in 15 months at Vyttila and Kakkanad, and the work was picking up when the pandemic hit. Despite the prolonged lockdown, the terminals were completed and ready for operation. Construction of 16 terminals including the major terminal at the High Court has now resumed as restrictions have been eased.
“Despite severe logistical issues and the highly challenging innovative design, Cochin Shipyard completed the first boat which is undergoing various tests for final certification. The second lockdown struck when the boat was about to start its trials. With contractors returning, the shipyard has swung back to full action. The design has created a lot of interest in European countries,” as per a statement issued by KMRL.
METRO READY TO START SERVICES
Kochi: The KMRL is planning to restart the Kochi Metro services which were stopped in May following the second wave of the Covid pandemic. The chief minister on Tuesday announced that the public transport can be restarted from Thursday. “However, we are waiting for the official communication in which the government will instruct us on the restrictions. The frequency of the services and timings will be reshuffled as per the guidelines issued by the government. KMRL is ready to commence operations on Thursday,” said an officer.