A roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) vessel will operate between Fort Kochi and Bolgatty Island from January 23, according to the civic authorities.
The passenger and vehicular traffic had been hit by the disruption in the ro-ro service. One of the vessels, owned by the Kochi Corporation and Operated by the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), had to be pulled out of service after it developed technical snags, adding to the hardship of those who had been making use of the facility.
A section of the councillors, including those from the Opposition, had demanded action against the Navigation Corporation for its failure to operate the vessels and demanded immediate steps for resuming the service. Several councillors had raised the issue in the Kochi Corporation council meeting.
Mayor M. Anilkumar too took up the issue and wrote to the managing director of the KSINC to take steps for resuming the service.
Incidentally, United Democratic Front councillors had organised a protest meeting in the Kochi Corporation office raising the demand. The councillors also laid siege to the Kochi Corporation Secretary on Saturday demanding steps for alleviating the hardship of passengers. The councillors were led by Congress leaders Antony Kureethara and M.G. Aristotle.
Responding to the developments, M. Babu Abdul Khadeer, Secretary of the Kochi Corporation, said the Managing Director of the KSINC had assured the civic body that a supplementary service of the vessel would begin on Monday between Fort Kochi and Bolgatty. The civic authorities were in regular touch with the agency for resuming the service. The issues faced by passengers, including the delay in bringing patients in ambulances to the city, were brought to the notice of the authorities, he said.
The KSINC was of the view that it could not operate the vessels in financially unviable routes. It had not included the Fort Kochi-Bolgatty route in the list. However, the civic body insisted that the vessel should be operated on the route considering the public demand, said Mr. Khadeer.