Kochi Corporation council wants KMRL to operate Ro-Ro

In response to the opposition’s demand, the mayor said that room facilities can be avoided and the total period of agreement can be reduced from 20 years.

Published: 28th July 2023 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2023 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

Ro-Ro vessel

For representational purpose

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The Kochi Corporation council meeting on Thursday requested Mayor M Anilkumar to hand over the operations of the Ro-Ro vessel to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), which had successfully launched the Water Metro services recently.

The request follows the ‘mismanagement’ of Ro-Ro operations by the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC). KSINC operates Ro-Ro service only on the Vypeen-Fort Kochi route. The council also decided to cross-check the financial statement submitted by KSINC, as the members suspect that the numbers are deliberately suppressed in the statement.

“I had held discussions with KMRL MD Loknath Behera regarding this, and he expressed his interest. However, if KMRL takes over the Ro-Ro, full power will be handed over to them regarding its operation and maintenance,” said the mayor. The council also rejected a demand by KSINC to hike the ticket rates of the Ro-Ro service.

Demand to form an SPV for Ro-Ro 

At the council meeting, representatives of the ruling and opposition parties unanimously demanded to set up a special-purpose vehicle for Ro-Ro. In response to this, the mayor said that a chartered accountant would be assigned to cross-check and evaluate the figures.

Corp to set up 10 smart sanitation centres

The council meeting held on Thursday decided to set up 10 smart sanitisation centres, including toilets, bio-digester systems, water ATMs, etc., which will be operated on an experimental basis by a private firm.
At the council meeting, corporation secretary Babu Abdul Khader explained that the private firm has experience in setting up such facilities in various cities and has presented a successful model as well. 
“The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had entrusted the private firm to set up a public toilet and has been running it successfully,” said Khader. The opposition councillors unanimously said that the council would not approve such decisions taken by the secretary and mayor alone. 

“There is a procedure to be followed. We are not against the project, but as people’s representatives, we need to know how much land the firm is planning to take to set up the project. As per the proposal, it mentions rooms for stay, a laundry room, a snack bar kiosk, etc. We need to know whether it’s a viable project,” said Antony Kureethara, a UDF councillor.

In response to the opposition’s demand, the mayor said that room facilities can be avoided and the total period of agreement can be reduced from 20 years. “The feasibility of the project will be explored and the concerns of the opposition councillors will be conveyed to the firm, and clarity will be sought on these issues,” said the mayor.

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