Technical glitch delays sea trial of Water Metro ferry

A ferry of the Water Metro fleet.   | Photo Credit: George-PT;The Hindu

A technical glitch in the propulsion system and allied components has delayed sea trials of the lead boat of the Water Metro service. But, officials exuded confidence that the issue would be resolved soon and the boat would be commissioned in the latter half of August.

Individual systems of the first ferryboat that rolled out of the Cochin Shipyard were being extensively tested as part of the basin trials and experts were trying to resolve the glitch in the propulsion system, they said. In terms of technology, the ferryboats being built, 23 of them in the first phase, are the first of their kind in India and are powered by electricity.

It will not be long before this is completed and the sea trials begin. This will be followed by the vessel commencing service on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route, where Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has readied a terminal at either end. Floating pontoons, from where commuters would board the ferries, were getting ready in Cherthala, they added.

The ferry’s sea trial, which was scheduled to begin this week, may take a little longer. August 15 had been tentatively fixed as the date to commission the project. It may take a week or so more, given the prevailing situation. The wait would definitely be worth it since the interior of the AC ferries would resemble that of Kochi metro trains, said sources. Commuters could expect an entirely unique and world-class experience, they added.

The commissioning deadlines were revised three to four times during the past two years, due to the pandemic situation, labour shortage and delay in sourcing components from abroad.

The government had earlier this month fixed ₹20 as the minimum fare per person, for which one could travel up to 3 km. Commuters will have to pay ₹4 per additional km.

Thiruvananthapuram-based NATPAC will conduct a two-year-long study on the sustainability and safety aspects of the Water Metro system.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:52:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/technical-glitch-delays-sea-trial-of-water-metro-ferry/article35617354.ece

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