KERALA

New boat services launched

Welcome initiative: Minister for Transport Jose Thettayil flags off the Fort Kochi-Ernakulam steel boat service on Thursday. —Photo: Vipin Chandran

Welcome initiative: Minister for Transport Jose Thettayil flags off the Fort Kochi-Ernakulam steel boat service on Thursday. —Photo: Vipin Chandran  

Minister for Transport Jose Thettayil said on Thursday here that the government was working to improve inland water transport as a solution to the growing traffic problems in the State.

The Left Democratic Front government has emphasised the need to improve water transport.

One of the steps has been to order for new vessels and to repair the old ones, he said.

Minister's assurance



The Minister was speaking at a function in Fort Kochi to flag off the two new steel boat services linking Fort Kochi, Ernakulam and Mattancherry.

He made an assurance that the number of long-distance buses that pass through West Kochi, especially in the night, would not be reduced despite a suggestion to the contrary.

Even if the number of buses linking West Kochi during day time was reduced for any reason it would be made up with the recently-introduced Thiru Kochi services, the Minister said in reply to a request from Mattancherry MLA, V. K. Ebrahimkunj.

Fisheries Minister said that the committee appointed to look into the cases of sea erosion in several parts of West Kochi should submit its report at the earliest as a measure to address the anxiety expressed by the residents in the area.

The 100-passenger-capacity boats that were launched on Thursday cost Rs.42 lakh each and were built by SILK, Kannur, said a statement here from the State Water Transport Department.

Mayor of the Corporation of Cochin Mercy Williams was among those present at the launching of the new boat services.

The Ministers and the Mayor were among those who took the first boat to Ernakulam after it was launched from Fort Kochi.

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