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First Water Metro ferry to be handed to KMRL by month-end

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It will be operated in the Vyttila-Kakkanad corridor

Coachin: The first of the twenty-three 100-passenger-capacity ferries that have been envisaged under the first phase of the ₹747-crore Water Metro project was launched at the Cochin Shipyard on Thursday.

The vessel’s underwater works are over, while the remaining works will be completed before delivering it to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) by month-end. The mandatory works that ought to be done include readying of shaft alignment, sea valves, pump, and piping systems. These will be followed by basin trials for each system and subsequently sea trials in the presence of classification surveyors and KMRL officials. The construction of the other vessels is progressing at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), said a press release by the metro agency.

The vessel built at the small ship building facility of the shipyard was lifted using cradles and cranes and placed on the trolley system. This was then moved to the quay side, before being placed in water using a gantry crane in the presence of Alkesh Kumar Sarma, Managing Director, KMRL; Madhu S. Nair, CMD, Cochin Shipyard, and officials of the two agencies.

Ferry terminals
IIM-Kozhikode had submitted a report to KMRL on the fare structure of the ferries over a month ago. The fares have not been finalised. The State government will have to take a call on the fare structure.

The first ferry will operate commercial services in the Vyttila-Kakkanad corridor. Much of the work on Vyttila and Kakkanad ferry terminals is over, while land acquisition for the Eroor terminal en route is in the final stage. This will be followed by ferries operating in the busy Ernakulam-Fort Kochi sector. Land for the terminal on the Fort Kochi beachfront has been handed over to the contracting firm, they added.

Solar farm
KMRL is, in the meantime, hunting for land to house a solar farm like the one at the Cochin International Airport, as part of its efforts to make Water Metro a carbon-neutral project. Solar panels will for now be installed on ferry terminal buildings and atop floating pontoons from where commuters will board / disembark the ferries, sources said.

Source : The Hindu

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