On 25th April, Tuesday, India’s first water metro is going to be launched in Kochi, Kerala. The inauguration is being held by our very own Prime Minister Sir Narendra Modi. Inauguration event will be held in Thiruvananthapuram in the morning on Tuesday. This project costed 1,136.83 crores which was funded by Kerala Government and the German bank KfW.
“A significant enhancement to Kochi’s infrastructure! The Kochi Water Metro would be dedicated to the nation. It will ensure seamless connectivity for Kochi,” he wrote. “Kerala has a lot to offer to the country and the world. I am sure this experiment being done in Kerala will become a model for other states of the country as well,” he added.
This water metro is going to connect 10 islands around the southern city. There is total number of 38 terminals and 78 electric eco-friendly boats in this project which will cover the area of 76 kms in Kochi backwaters, six panchayats and three municipalities as said by The Indian Express. It will be assisted by the German agency Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau. The Kochi Water Metro services will start on April 26, from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
All the boats, constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited, are hybrid and battery-powered. However, they have the backup of diesel-powered generators. These modern boats will replace the ferry services from Kochi to nearby islands operated by Kerala Water Transport Department.
All passenger facilities available in metro rail coaches will be offered on the boats as well. Also, the boat jetties have been designed similar to metro stations. All jetties will have electronic display boards. There will be announcements in English, Hindi and Malayalam, when the services begin at full drive. The passenger entry and exit to boats, with air-conditioned cabins, will be similar to the system at metros.
The Indian Express also stated according to it’s sources that each boat, costing Rs 7 crore, can carry 100 passengers with seating capacity for 50. Boats, which have aluminium-catamaran hulls, will have a ramp facility for the physically-handicapped, feeding chamber for mothers and mobile recharge facilities. All boat jetties will have charging facilities for boats, which will run at a speed of eight nautical miles per hour.
Officials said the boats will have modern safety features, including automatic boat locating system and passenger control system. The non-polluting battery-powered boats could be operated noise-free and with low waves unlike the traditional ferries.
According to KMRL and Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML) managing director Loknath Behera, the water metro will start sailing with 8 electric-hybrid boats in two routes – High Court-Vypin and Vyttila-Kakkanad. It is said by KMRL that the minimum ticket fare would be Rs 20 and maximum Rs 40 for the two routes. Boat services will be available for 12 hours a day at an interval of 15 minutes. People can travel in Kochi Metro Rail and Kochi Water Metro using Kochi One Card. Also tickets can be booked digitally through Kochi One App.
Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan termed the Kochi Water Metro as a “dream project” of the state that would fast pace the growth, tourism, and development of Kerala in particular. “The world-class #KochiWaterMetro is setting sail! It is Kerala’s dream project connecting 10 islands in and around Kochi. Exciting times are ahead for our transport and tourism sectors!” the CM tweeted.
This water metro is the first modern public water transport to be launched and make the lives of people in Kerala a little better and hassle free.