The tourist-cum-passenger boat of the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) operating from here to Kuttanad areas at lower rates is getting good response from tourists and others as well.

The SWTD director, Shaji V.Nair, told The Hindu that the boat had a record collection on the first day itself by getting Rs.10,000 for 12 trips for the day. “Normally, our other boats get only Rs. 2000 per day. On Sunday, according to the information available till 4 p.m., it has collected nearly Rs. 15, 000. The response has been tremendous,” he said.

The Department has also re-scheduled its services from Sunday onwards. The 90-seater boat, which has two decks, is charging Rs. 10 for the lower deck (60 seats) and Rs. 25 for the upper deck (30 seats) for one way. The tickets were being issued using the electronic ticketing machines, whose roll-out also coincided with the inauguration of this boat service. The service is also seen as a solace to the travel woes of the people of Kuttanad, who have had to wait for two hours or more to get a boat.

The staff of the boat, similar to those in other boats of the SWTD, includes a driver, a srank, a boat master (equivalent to conductor in bus) and two Lascars. Tea and refreshments are provided at the upper deck of the boat.

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