14 Water Metro jetties to be ready by June

A view of the Water Metro’s Vyttila jetty. The operational control centre of the project is being built at the terminal.

A view of the Water Metro’s Vyttila jetty. The operational control centre of the project is being built at the terminal. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

With the first lot of five of the 23 ferries envisaged in the initial phase of the ₹747-crore Water Metro project expected to be readied for operation in June, three of the total 36 jetties envisaged under the project are ready, while another five are getting ready for completion in June.

The completed jetties are at Vytilla (where the Water Metro’s operational control centre is being built), Kakkanad, and Eloor. while High Court, Bolgatty, Vypeen, Cheranalloor and South Chittoor jetties will be readied in June, in tandem with the expected launch of the first lot of ferries on the High Court-Bolgatty-Vypeen route. Six other jetties too are nearing completion. Among them, 95% of civil works and 60 % of electrical works are over for Cheranalloor and Chittoor jetties, sources in Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) said.

The work on jetties in Fort Kochi, Mulavukad, Kadamakudy, Palianthuruth, Kumbalam, Willingdon Island, and Mattancherry are in different stages of progress. Among them, a 20,000-sq.ft. one at Fort Kochi got entangled in controversy, with heritage enthusiasts and others crying foul over it abutting the historic beach. Subsequently, KMRL scaled down the project to an 8,000 sq.ft. structure. Piling got over for the project, while slab works are under way for its ground floor. A total of 30% of civil works is over for the structure, it is learnt.

Two firms are engaged in constructing the jetties, where considerable area will be earmarked as commercial space. Work on another 11 jetties, including those at Pizhala, Kothad, and Chennur ought to be tendered. Land for nine others located on government land is expected to be handed over in another month, following which construction can begin. They include those at Moolampilly, Kurungotta, Edakochi, and Netoor. Work on two other jetties is awaiting retender.

All jetties will have concrete floating pontoons, since they enable convenient and safe boarding and de-boarding, irrespective of high or low tide.

Tourism potential

Ebenser Chullikkat, a votary of public transport systems and who operated ferries from Kochi city to Varapuzha in the suburbs till the trio of Goshree bridges were built a decade-and-a-half ago, called upon KMRL to proactively tap the tourism potential of the Kochi backwaters and also of the islands which the Water Metro ferries would network.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 11:43:21 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/14-water-metro-jetties-to-be-ready-by-june/article65454576.ece