Kerala CM rolls out water taxi service in Alappuzha

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

The water taxi of the State Water Transport Department in Vembanad Lake

Kerala govt committed to completing Kovalam-Kasaragod waterway

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ‘virtually’ launched water taxi and a catamaran boat service of the State Water Transport Department in Alappuzha.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said traffic congestion on roads and pollution would encourage more people to use water transport. The government was committed to complete the Kovalam-Kasaragod waterway, he said.

The tariffs

According to SWTD officials the tariff for the service had been fixed at ₹750 for 30 minutes and ₹1,500 per hour. SWTD plans to launch a total of four water taxis at a cost of ₹3.14 crore. The location and launch of the rest of the three boats will be decided later.

The water taxi, a catamaran diesel-powered craft, with a seating capacity for 10 passengers, can cruise at a maximum speed of 19 knots (35 km/hour).

The vessel has been constructed by Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Private Limited, which built the country’s first solar ferry, Aditya. The boat comes with a 250-horse power outboard diesel engine imported from Sweden.

Solar panel

Besides, it has an electric power steering and solar panel atop to provide enough electric energy to fulfil all the power requirements, including lights, fan and control system.

Shaji V Nair, Director, SWTD, said that the department is in the process of launching one more water taxi service in Kochi by next month. It will have solar panels on the roof to provide energy for the electrical components.

There are also plans to launch a solar powered tourist boat in Kochi by December. The catamaran vessel will be airconditioned and have an upper deck for guests to have a view of the backwaters, he said.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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