Now solar-powered boat ride in Manimuthar dam

First for the State: The solar-powered boat taking tourists into the Manimuthar dam in Tirunelveli district after it was formally commissioned on Wednesday.  

There is some good news for those planning to visit Manimuthar dam during Pongal holidays in a fortnight - Kalakkad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve’s (KMTR) Ambasamudram division has presented tourists a New Year gift in the form of solar-powered boat ride in the dam, a first-of-its kind in the State.

After the trials in the largest reservoir of the district were completed successfully in phases, the boat, worth ₹80 lakh, was formally commissioned by Deputy Director Kommu Omkaram on Wednesday.

KMTR administration had introduced coracle ride in the first quarter of last year in the dam to attract tourists. Now it has deployed the 26-seater solar-powered boat, including two seats for the crew, fabricated by Mahindra Group. Under the Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiative, the Department of Forest received ₹2.25 crore for promoting envoronment-friendly tourism activities in KMTR and a portion of this grant has been utilised for procuring the solar-powered boat.

The boat, propelled by a lithium-ion battery, is 11.8 metre long and four metres wide.

One of its unique aspects is that it has a German motor (20 KW) with solar roof on top which can generate 3.8 KW of power. The solar roof will help the boat get partially charged while moving. The field trials were conducted successfully with 24 persons aboard. Once it becomes operational, the boat will take tourists into the interiors of the dam surrounded by Western Ghats.

Mr. Omkaram said the boat performed well during the trials and met all pre-set parameters. “The boat is very easy to operate though it would be windy in Manimuthar dam between June and September,” he said.

As the dam has water for about 115 feet against the maximum storage level of 118 feet, the solar boat is expected to attract a decent number of tourists every day. There will be a good crowd during Pongal holidays as people visit picnic spots on the day after Pongal, to be celebrated on January 15.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 2:50:45 AM |

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