ALAPPUZHA: The first water taxi in the state will be operational in Alappuzha by October. The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) will launch the taxi service for people living in waterlogged areas of the district. Shaji V Nair, director of SWTD, said, “We have placed orders for four boats and the first boat will begin operation by mid-October. It is just like the paid taxi service. The boat with a seating capacity for 10 passengers will provide comfortable travel. A diesel-powered catamaran craft will be used for the purpose,” he says.
The public can use the service at reasonable rates. The contact number and tariff will be released soon after the approval from the state government, Shaji said.The vessels are being constructed by Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Private Limited, which built the country’s first solar ferry Aditya, which operates in the Thavanakadavu-Vaikom sector in Alappuzha.
Officials of Navgathi said with multiple hulls, catamarans have enhanced safety. “It needs less power, which makes it more fuel-efficient. We have designed it in a way that the boat can be used as taxis and as a rescue vessel in case of an emergency,” an official said.