KSINC to step up tourist-boat manufacturing

The ₹16-crore cruise vessel Nefertiti of the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation.  

Kochi-based Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) is set to increase its footprint in tourist boat manufacture with agreements on the anvil with District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs) to manufacture vessels of different types to promote regular cruises and water sports.

Official sources say Kerala Tourism would finalise a work order within a week with the KSINC to manufacture vessels for the DTPCs. The corporation built Serendipity, a 42-passenger tourist boat for the Ernakulam DTPC, about four years ago.

The Kottayam DTPC has placed a ₹2.40-crore order with the KSINC to build six kayaks and a shikara (miniature of a houseboat), says Bindu Nair, secretary of the council. “Order will be placed for more vessels in more backwater destinations, depending on the success of the first lot of boats in three locales — Kumarakam, Changanassery and Kodimatha,” she says. The KSINC would, in addition, build boats as part of the Malabar-Malanad river cruise circuit.

The agency would augment its presence in Kochi, where its sea-going vessels Sagara Rani 1 and 2 and its ₹16-crore cruise vessel Nefertiti are in operation. “Another two vessels that cost ₹2.40 crore each — Michelle and Cleopatra — will begin operating in the backwaters here later this year. Each of them can carry 130 passengers, including 80 in the AC portion,” sources say.

The agency had leased out Cleopatra to a firm for a period of one year, to be operated in Kozhikode. However, the vessel is now brought to Kochi due to low patronage in Kozhikode following the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

The agency would also build boat jetties for the State Water Transport Department (SWTD), including at Kadamakudy, Mattancherry, and Kamalakadavu in Fort Kochi and in Kakkanad.

“We plan to have floating pontoons instead of conventional boat jetties at different locations in Kochi,” says Shaji Nair, Director, State Water Transport Department.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 3:00:27 PM |

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