Ferry jetties in Ernakulam in precarious state

The SWTD’s Mattancherry boat jetty has been in a dilapidated condition for the past several years.

The SWTD’s Mattancherry boat jetty has been in a dilapidated condition for the past several years. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The caving in of what is commonly known as the terminal boat jetty in Willingdon Island on Friday and crew members of a State Water Transport Department (SWTD) ferry helping rescue over a dozen tourists from a neighbouring State who fell into the waterbody, have shed light on the precarious condition of ferry jetties in Ernakulam.

The jetty was reportedly built by the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) several decades ago.

Most such structures, including the busy Customs jetty in Fort Kochi, which has a dilapidated roof and floor, are crying for upkeep. “Its roof may collapse any moment, while shoddy upkeep has taken a toll on the deck from where commuters board ferries. The deck giving away will result in commuters being washed into the nearby shipping channel. The Irrigation department must ensure the upkeep of all ferry jetties in the region, including the one at Mattancherry and Vypeen,” said M.M. Abbas, president of West Kochi Passengers’ Association.

The Ernakulam boat jetty and embarkation jetty in Willingdon Island are relatively better maintained, while passengers have been demanding renovation of the jetty at Kamalakadavu in Fort Kochi.

SWTD Director Shaji V. Nair said the department had been writing to the Irrigation department and the CPT, reminding it of the need to repair / renovate dilapidated jetties.

“The renovation of Customs jetty has been tendered, and the agreement process is under way. Work on the ₹90-lakh project will begin soon after the monsoon,” said Haroon Rashid, assistant engineer, Irrigation department. The delay occurred since the work had to be retendered. Similarly, a ₹39-lakh tender to renovate the Vypeen jetty too was awarded, and the work will begin in three weeks, he added.

On the long overdue renovation of the Mattancherry jetty, Mr. Rashid said piling was over, and slab work was on. “The structure will wear a new look in another five months. Dredging of the adjacent waterbody too has been tendered, and work will begin in a week’s time, so that ferries will be able to once again call at the jetty.”

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2022 12:33:57 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ferry-jetties-in-ernakulam-in-precarious-state/article65442586.ece