Towards new horizons: Kochi Water Metro slated for launch on December 2019

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The first phase (Vytilla – Eroor – Kakkanad) of the much-awaited Kochi Water Metro project is all set to commence its operations by the end of 2019 with 23 ferries. The fleet comprising modern, electric-powered air-conditioned ferries will provide the much-needed boost to the transportation network in Kochi by reducing traffic and pollution and ensuring better infrastructure.

This massive transportation project, helmed by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), was envisaged with the objective of connecting the suburbs of Greater Kochi located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake with the mainland through several inland water channels. The project is a boon for around one lakh people living in suburbs who would be able to easily commute to the city by ferries. In addition, this initiative would also enhance the tourism potential of the picturesque backwater locations by bringing in more domestic and foreign tourists.

India’s first water metro, the project involves the development of 16 routes, connecting 45 jettys
across 10 islands and spans a route network of 76 km. These modern, stare-of-the-art ferries can accommodate up to 100 passengers and will act as a unique feeder system to the existing elevated metro rail line that runs from the outer suburb of Aluva, through the heart of Kochi to Thripunithura.

In the following phases, 55 boats with a passenger capacity of 50 each and 23 boats of 110 capacity each will begin commercial operations. The ferries, with steel body, aluminium hull and fibre reinforced decks, would be equipped with strict safety measures and advanced facilities including WiFi access. To ensure smoother operations, all waterways will be cleaned and checked for proper anchoring. Plans to introduce water sports and flea markets are also in the offing. The project is being funded with Rs 102 crores from the Kerala government and a loan of Rs 576 crores from German development bank KfW.

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