The inauguration of the ‘See Kuttanad' project of the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) and introduction of electronic ticket machines in all the department's boats will be held in the first or second week of May.

Shaji V. Nair, director, Water Transport Department told The Hindu that the ‘See Kuttanad' project consists of two luxury boats offering a cruise through the Kuttanad area at affordable rates. Tourists, both domestic and foreign, are attracted to the scenic beauty of Kuttanad, where below-sea level farming is practiced.

The boats will have a mini-eatery, video, and lower and upper deck seating arrangements.

The ticket rate for tourists, for whom the upper deck will be reserved, will be Rs.25 per person, and seats on the lower deck for regular commuters will be priced at Rs.10 per person.

The department will also roll out its electronic ticketing machines to issue tickets in all its boats at the same time. The department had purchased 80 electronic ticket machines and is also computerising all its 14 station offices, Mr. Nair said.

The issuing of tickets using electronic machines will save lakhs of rupees the department had been paying every year for printing tickets and also ease the workload of its employees in preparing reports regarding its services.

The department is also planning to operate cost-effective house boats for the tourists. This is considered as a boon to those tourists for whom the house boat ride is a strict no-no as it is quite expensive, sources said.

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