Kerala CM Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan launched the India’s first ever water Metro project in the city of Kochi. This water metro project is a part of the ongoing Kochi Metro Rail Limited. This integrated water transport project is to be implemented in two phases and should be fully operational by 2019.
What is a Water Metro?
Water Metro is similar to the terrestrial Metro service offered by the Government except the means of transport. This kind of transport is carried out in the inland waters of the territory in order to connect the several islands and also to foster the development of tourism and transportation.
About Kochi Water Metro:
- This project envisages the development of 16 identified routes, connecting 38 jetties across 10 islands and spans a total route network of 76km.
- The project intends for a fleet of 78 fast, fuel efficient, air-conditioned ferries playing to 38 jetties, 18 of which will be developed as main boat hubs, while the remaining 20 will be minor jetties for transit services?
- The advent of water metro will make Kochi the first Indian city where water connectivity will be developed as a feeder service to the metro rail.
- The project aims to provide water connectivity to people living between islands in the Kochi assemblage area and this project will also connect the islands spread across Kochi backwaters to main city.
- The beauty of the project is that it is not just an urban transport project, but also a total infrastructure and livelihood enhancement project for people living along the Kochi backwaters.
- Germany’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) is funding this Rs 6.3bn project linking various islands to the mainland and the metro network through inland waterways providing last-mile connectivity to islanders and leisure travel to visitors.
- This is the India’s first major externally funded urban water passenger transport project ever to be implemented.
- This project is estimated at a cost of 747 crores. KfW will provide financial assistance of 85 million (approximately Rs 597 crore) and the Kerala government will give Rs102 crore.
- The major part of the expenditure is for boats. The ferries and boats are going to be fitted with Wi-Fi and Air conditioning facilities also. The boats will operate at an optimal speed of eight knots with a accumulating capacity of 50 – 100 passengers.
- Apart from this water metro, the joint venture establishes well-lit roads, CCTV monitored public places, islands and increased accessibility to jetties in order to enhance the security and lifestyle of the city people.
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