Inland Waterways Authority to launch new Ro-Ro services in Kochi from Nov 1

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on October 28, 2020

In the first phase, the new ferry service will transport container-laden trailers

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is all set to launch two new roll-on/ roll-off (Ro-Ro) services between Willingdon Island and Bolgatty on November 1. Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) will manage the service for the movement of container-laden vehicles.

The two Ro-Ro vessels — MV Adisankara and MV Raman — was constructed at Cochin Shipyard at a cost of ₹15 crore with a capacity to carry 30 passengers on board and 15 TEU container trailers. There will be one trip every one hour. With two vessels in service, the turnaround time of each return trip will reduce considerably.

Such a service has been the long-felt need of this industrial belt in the west of Kochi. Traffic congestion on Kochi’s roads had made it difficult for companies to move containers to Vallarpadam terminal by road. But now, if container trailers opt for the Ro-Ro service on the 3-km long waterways, the 20-kh stretch of road on the National Highway Bypass can experience decongestion, lower levels of pollution, and fewer accidents.

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KSINC is currently operating a Ro-Ro service between Fort Kochi and Vypeen for Kochi Corporation.

In the first phase, the new ferry service will transport container-laden trailers.

The 56-metre-long Ro-Ro vessel will provide in-house design for day and night operations throughout the year. The vessels, with air-conditioned accommodation for eight crew members and an open deck, will ensure smooth loading and discharging of trucks and vehicles in the first phase.

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KSINC officials said that they are expecting to service around 100 container-laden trucks daily. The company has trained masters and crew for the service. The service is expected to help reduce traffic congestion on the city roads. The introduction of the service is aimed at providing smooth and hassle-free cargo movement based on the guidelines issued by the Environment Ministry to help reduce the carbon footprint, the officials said.

According to industry sources, in the past, a private shipping company used to operate a Ro-Ro service between Willingdon Island and Bolgatty, which was discontinued in 2017.

Published on October 28, 2020

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