Kochi (Kerala) has become India’s first city to have a Water Metro Project after the launch of its first boat in December 2021, namely ‘Muziris,’ among the 23 battery-powered electric boats being manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited. This project is operated by Kochi Water Metro Ltd (KWML) while it’s boats are called Water Metros.
About Kochi Water Metro Project’s Powered Electric Boats aka Water Metros:
i.They are aluminium catamaran, fully air-conditioned boats with wide windows offering comfortable travel. They use LTO (Lithium Titanate Oxide) batteries, which are the latest and safest in battery technology, and are capable of fast charging. They can be charged in 10 to 15 minutes’ time, while passengers are boarding.
- Each boat is priced over Rs 7.30 cr.
- The hull of water metros is designed for 10 knot speed (18 kmph) which is considerably faster than the vintage system of the boats.
ii.They also have automatic generator back up, in the event of any failure of the battery system.
iii.As per the officials, it is the first time in the world that a centrally controlled integrated water transport system with a large fleet is powered by battery.
About Kochi Water Metro Project Project:
With a total outlay of Rs 819 crore, project’s major part is financed under Indo-German Financial Cooperation through a long-term loan agreement of 85 million Euros (Rs 579 crore) with German funding agency, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau).
- The Kerala government will provide Rs 102 crore and land acquisition cost of Rs 72 crore. There is a PPP (Public Private Partnership) component of around Rs 66 crore.
ii.Under this an integrated water transport system will be developed on 15 identified routes spanning 76 km, and connecting 10 islands with a fleet of 78 fast, electrically propelled hybrid water metros plying to 38 terminals.
- Among the fleet of 78, there will be 23 boats, and 55 smaller boats to be operated by KWML.
iii.It will benefit more than one lakh islanders with a socially inclusive transport system which will be modern, energy efficient, environment friendly.
- It will reduce pollution and traffic congestions in Kochi.
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