Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the Kochi Water Metro project would be completed in four years.
He was speaking after launching the integrated water transport project that is expected to give a much needed fillip to the city’s huge but untapped potential of waterways.
Mr. Vijayan said the project would make the urban water transport network in the city modern and safer. The government would closely monitor the project to ensure that it was implemented in a time-bound manner.
The Chief Minister said the project had the potential to influence the development of the greater Kochi area and improve the standard of living of its residents.
The government decided to go ahead with the Water Metro project in keeping with its focus on ensuring a smooth and safe public transport system.
The Water Metro, an unprecedented project in the country, would bestow Kochi with 78 modern boats and draw global attention to it as a major port city.
German Development Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), had signed an agreement with the Kochi Metro Rail Limited on Friday, detailing the disbursement procedure and schedule for the €85 million loan that KfW is providing for the project worth Rs.747 crore.
The Water metro project involves purchase of two variants of air-conditioned and WiFi-enabled catamaran passenger ferries with a capacity of 50 and 100 passengers.
The boats will operate at an optimal speed of eight knots, with the potential to go up to 12 knots once the dedicatedwater transit corridor is established.
Apart from the development of the ferry service, the project also proposes the development of existing and new access roads providing increased accessibility to the jetties and enhanced mobility within the islands, infrastructure for ensuring safety and security to all its users by way of active and well-lit streets and CCTV cameras, promoting use of small occupancy feeder modes such as mini or midi feeder buses and electric rickshaws to access the jetties, promoting property development around the jetties, non-motorised transport infrastructure, facilities and infrastructure enabling smooth, disabled-friendly mobility, and public bicycle sharing schemes including development of bicycle docking stations at all the jetty locations.
News : The Hindu , Photos : Ben Jos Kothad