A waterway extension of Kochi Metro project is in consideration to make inroads into the Greater Kochi zone.
According to A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, the managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), the tender to manufacture 78 fast, fuel-efficient ferries under the Water Metro project will be floated on December 31 and finalised by March-April 2018.
The ₹747-crore project is expected to be commissioned by April 14, 2019 and will employ 78 modern ferries operating in 15 routes, covering a total distance of 75km and linked by 38 jetties.
In fact, all the material required to manufacture the ferries along with the propulsion system, have almost been finalised by the concerned authorities.
“The first batch of ferries is most likely to be deployed in the Ernakulam-West Kochi area, and will, therefore, cover areas in the Smart Cities Mission. The cleaning of navigable water bodies and canals would go hand in hand with the induction of the ferries,” Hanish, who also essays the role of Cochin Smart Mission CEO, told The Hindu.
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A report assessing the project’s environmental impact (EIA) has already been submitted to the Centre, and meetings to fast-track land acquisition for jetties are underway. The project will be co-funded by KfW, a German funding agency with a significant stake of 85 million Euros or ₹585 crore approximately.
All the ferries are to be fully inducted by 2021.