Alappuzha, India (Urban Transport News): Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on 15th October 2020 inaugurated the launch of the first water taxi service of the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) in Alappuzha (formerly known as Alleppey). Apart from this, he also launched a catamaran boat service capable of carrying 100 people via videoconferencing.
During the launching programme, Chief Minister said:
The state is focusing on the completion of the Kovalam-Bekal waterway. It is also planning a project for the development of water transport. It will give new impetus to tourism and pollution-free water transport.
“The traffic blocks on roads and pollution are increasing the scope for water transport in the state,” he added.
People can hire a water taxi from anywhere from the Alappuzha district. They have to pay Rs 1,500 per hour. The water taxi can complete the distance from Alappuzha to Kottayam in one hour.
The SWTD has also launched two water taxi booking numbers - 9400050325,9400050322 so that people can book the taxi on call.
According to information shared by SWTD, a catamaran diesel-powered craft with a seating capacity for 10 passengers will be used for water taxi service. This boat has a 250-horse power outboard diesel engine imported from Sweden and it can run at a maximum speed of 35 km per hour). It has an electric power steering. The boat is also having a solar panel atop to meet all the power requirements including lights, fan and control system.
Apart from the water taxi in Alappuzha, three more water taxis will soon be launched and one of them is expected to be launched in Ernakulam in November.