Kochi, India (Urban Transport News): The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is all set to launch its water metro services for the public. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will officially inaugurate the prestigious Water Metro on 22nd February 2021 in Kochi. However, commercial services will be launched in the first week of March.
KMRL will launch operations initially on the Vyttila-Infopark route. Cochin Shipyard Limited, the manufacturer of Water Metro Boats, will hand over the first boat by the second week of February. According to the plan, one advanced vessel will conduct services on the route at a 30-minute interval.
Informing media personnel, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited said:
After a trial run on the Vyttila-Infopark route, the Water Metro will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister on February 22. Commercial operations will be launched on March 1. Between February 22 and March 1, KMRL will continue with its trial runs on the Vyttila-Kakkanad stretch to ensure the boat is ready for commercial operations.
The Cochin Shipyard has been given a contract to manufacture 23 boats for the Kochi Water Metro project and boats will be rolled out in a phased manner. After the launch of the water metro services, four boats each will be delivered in March and April by the Cochin Shipyard. Five vessels will follow in May while the remaining nine boats will be delivered in June 2021.
Sharma said that these boats will be used in other routes. The frequency of services will be rearranged accordingly. Work on all boat jetties included in the first phase is progressing. We hope it will be completed before the monsoon season. Water Metro services will be extended to these areas by then.
According to the plan, a total of 76 eco-freindly electric boats will be rolled out in a phased manner in the backwaters of Kochi. The Greater Kochi area will also get 41 electric boat jetties. Among those, Vyttila, Eroor, Kakkanad, Fort Kochi, High Court, Mattanchery, Vypeen and Bolgatty will be completed in the first phase.
The air-conditioned electric boats will have advanced features including Wi-Fi, security system, CCTV surveillance and an automated ticket collection system. The plan is to promote a single ticketing system that will enable a passenger to travel in the boats with the help of the 'Kochi1 Card' used for travelling on the Kochi Metro.
The estimated cost of the Kochi Water Metro project is Rs 819 crore. More than 1 lakh islanders are expected to get benefit from the water metro project.
For in-depth information, please explore the "Kochi Water Metro" page of Urban Transport News.