The Water Transport Department has found a vessel to reach out across the globe.
Even while shaking off its shackles and powering up to gather some momentum by adding new dockyards, boats, and services, the department is attempting to garner worldwide attention, mainly of tourists, with a website.
Its online mooring will offer details of the service trips, which are fast becoming popular among tourists as one of the most affordable modes to enjoy the beauty of the scenic backwaters.
www.swtd.gov.in, designed and developed by the National Informatics Centre, is already online. It has interesting links, one of which is “Places Enroute,” giving details of every trip of the department, with the starting time. What makes it interesting is a brief description of the sights one can behold en route. For instance, the 29-km Alappuzha-Edathua trip, which costs a mere Rs.10, covers some major landmarks: the finishing point of the internationally acclaimed Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Chavara Bhavan, and ancient temples and lamp posts, apart from lush paddy fields.
The “Boat Schedules” link comes up with information on not just the department's Alappuzha operations but also on those elsewhere in the State, as in Kottayam, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kannur, and Kasaragod. Under the “Tourism” head, the site offers useful information on the popular Kollam-Alappuzha tourist boat service, with tariffs and other operational details.
Shaji V. Nair, Director of the department, says the website is ready for a formal launch, which will be conducted shortly. The website is expected to help tourists in a major way and thus, make the department more popular among them.