Sethu Sagar 1, the first roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessel of the Kochi Corporation that is being operated between Fort Kochi and Vypeen will be dry-docked shortly, which may add to the travel worries of the people of Kochi.
The vessel is likely to be dry-docked in February for repair and renewal of statutory clearances. A decision on pulling the vessel out of service will be taken after a discussion in the Kochi Corporation Council. The convenience of the Cochin Port Authority (CPA) will also have to be taken into consideration as the vessel will have to be dry-docked at the port facility, said Mayor M. Anilkumar.
It may take around three months before the service is resumed as spare parts for the vessel will have to be made to order. The spare parts will cost around ₹83 lakh. The statutory mechanical tests will also have to be completed during the period, said Mr. Anilkumar.
The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), which operates the vessel, has suggested its immediate dry-docking. KSINC managing director R. Girija held discussions with the Mayor on Tuesday, according to a communication.
With the withdrawal of Sethu Sagar 1, only one vessel will now be conducting service in the sector. Another vessel resumed service in the Fort Kochi-Bolgatty sector on Tuesday. The delay in resumption of the service had invited public wrath.
Meanwhile, the CPA said it had granted permission to the KSINC for operation of the vessel between Fort Kochi and Bolgatty within an hour of receiving the request. The port authorities maintained that there was no delay on their part in issuing clearance.