Kochi Water Metro, a prestigious project of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will commence its first service by January 2021. Work on the project is progressing steadfastly, officials said in a statement. Constructed at a cost of Rs 678 crores, Kochi Water Metro will connect various islands in the city’s suburbs with its 38 stations in 15 routes, covering a distance of 78.6 kilometres.
The Water Metro will connect places like Vypin, Willingdon Island, Edakochi, Kumbalam, Nettoor, Vyttila, Eloor, Kakkanad, Bolgatti and Mulavukad. According to officials, the construction of terminals at Vyttila, Kakkanad, High Court Junction, Vypin, Cheranalloor and Eloor has started. Meanwhile, the tender procedure for the terminals at Bolgatty, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kadamakudi, Paliam Thuruth, Cheranalloor, South Chittoor, Mulavukad North and Ernakulam Ferry has been completed.
The stations will be similar to those of Kochi Metro and will have similar ticketing facilities. KMRL also states that persons with disability will have hassle-free transport facilities. The boats are designed to carry up to three wheelchairs at a time, it said. The boat jetties are specially being constructed so that they float on the water surface allowing people to easily board the boats during both high tides and low tides.
The boats are being constructed by the Cochin Shipyard Limited. Construction of the first boat, which can carry 100 passengers at a time, will be completed by December. KMRL plans to commission a total of 23 boats with a passenger capacity of 100 people and 55 boats with 50 seats. Four boats are scheduled to be handed over by March next year.
A boat yard will also be formed in KINFRA Park at Ernakulam to handle the repair works of the boats. The state government hopes that commencement of the Water Metro will help aid tourist destinations in Ernakulam district, especially the islands in the city suburbs, which are surrounded by backwaters.