Demand rife for third Ro-Ro ferry in Vypeen-Fort Kochi corridor

Kochi Corporation to convene stakeholders’ meeting to chalk out action plan

September 18, 2022 06:40 pm | Updated 06:40 pm IST - KOCHI

There has been repeated demands to roll out a third, bigger Ro-Ro vessel in the corridor. A view of the terminal at Vypeen.

There has been repeated demands to roll out a third, bigger Ro-Ro vessel in the corridor. A view of the terminal at Vypeen. | Photo Credit: File Photo

With demand gathering momentum to introduce a third roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry in the busy Vypeen-Fort Kochi corridor, the Kochi Corporation will convene a meeting of stakeholders, including the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) that is operating the two existing Ro-Ro ferries, to chalk out a plan of action, Mayor M. Anilkumar has said.

This comes in the wake of repeated demands by NGOs and others to roll out a third, bigger vessel in the corridor, considering instances of one of the two vessels being often withdrawn from service following technical snags. This in turn results in the formation of a serpentine queue of vehicles near the terminals in Vypeen and Fort Kochi since a conventional ferry that can carry only passengers is introduced as a substitute.

The State government had earmarked ₹10 crore in the Budget for the Kochi Corporation to procure the third Ro-Ro. The Mayor's statement comes in the wake of office-bearers of Vypeen Janakeeya Kootayma, a conclave of organisations demanding augmentation of Ro-Ro services in the corridor, meeting him on Saturday and submitting a memorandum.

“We apprised him of the dire need for a spare vessel. We had been spearheading the demand since 2017, even before the first vessel, Sethusagar-1, was introduced. There was a substantial break in service of one of the two vessels when it was dry docked at the Cochin Shipyard where the sister vessels were manufactured. This threw into haywire the commuting pattern of thousands of islanders,” said Majnu Komath, chairman of the Kootaayma.

Passengers will benefit if the third vessel is bigger than the existing ones. The amenities at the two terminals too will thus have to be improved, he said.

Meanwhile, the Mayor attributed the delay in moving ahead with plans to procure the third vessel to, among others, the Thrikkakara Assembly byelection. “The Cochin Shipyard will be the best bet to build the third vessel as well,” he said.

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