Kochi Water Metro Limited floats tender for 15 more ferries

Delivery of ferries expected to begin within a year of the tender being awarded

Published - April 26, 2024 01:06 am IST - KOCHI

Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML) has floated tender to procure another 15 of the 30 electric-hybrid ferries it had envisaged in phase-2 of the project.

The tender process had been delayed since the agency was awaiting the approval of German lending agency KfW that had extended a loan for the Water Metro project. KWML has extended the timeline to submit tenders since a few shipyards have sought more time. The delivery of the ferries is expected to begin within a year of the tender being awarded. Efforts will be made to ensure faster rollout of ferries, considering the delay in getting the batch of 23 ferries, sources said.

On the demand from passenger associations to rationalise the fare in ferries that are in operation, KWML sources said passengers could travel in the silent ferries in air-conditioned comfort at half the bus fare, if they opted for weekly, monthly and quarterly travel passes. For instance, the South Chittoor-High Court bus fare is ₹18, while ferry commuters who avail travel pass need to pay just ₹10 for the waterway route. On the first anniversary of the Water Metro, literary critic M.K. Sanoo and disaster management expert Muralee Thummarkudy were among those who travelled in the ferries. Musical events too were organised at the terminals. The success of Water Metro ferries on the sustainability front can be gauged from the fact that many States have evinced interest in the project.

Moreover, the number of tourists travelling in the ferries is more than the number of regular commuters. The ultimate aim is to encourage residents from the islands to use the ferries, metro sources said.

New terminals

At present, the terminals at Kumbalam, Paliyamthuruth, Willingdon Island, and Kadamakudy are under construction, apart from Mattancherry. Ferries can begin service in these corridors by October. Efforts are under way to augment last-mile connectivity from the terminals.

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