Kochi is set to get India’s first Water Metro, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate on April 25. According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, it is Kerala’s dream project that is expected to give a boost to the state’s transport and tourism sectors.
About Kochi Water Metro project
The Kochi Water Metro intends to operate on 15 identified routes connecting 10 islands on the Vambanadu Lake, covering 78 km. It will have a fleet of 78 fast, electrically propelled hybrid ferries plying between 38 jetties.
More than 100,000 islanders are expected to benefit from the project, while the project will decongest the city’s roads too.
The world-class #KochiWaterMetro is setting sail! It is Kerala's dream project connecting 10 islands in and around Kochi. KWM with 78 electric boats & 38 terminals cost 1,136.83 crores, funded by GoK & KfW. Exciting times are ahead for our transport and tourism sectors! pic.twitter.com/IrSD8hqh9l
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@pinarayivijayan) April 22, 2023
The total cost of the project is Rs 1,136.83 crore, funded by the Kerala government and German funding agency KfW. The project has been financed under the Indo-German Financial Cooperation with a long-term loan agreement, according to the Kochi Metro website.
In the first phase, services will begin from the High Court-Vypin terminals to the Vyttila-Kakkanad terminals with eight electric hybrid boats manufactured by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd. There will be rides every 15 minutes.
About the boats
The battery-operated boats will be fully air-conditioned with wide windows and offer a comfortable ride with heavenly views of Kerala’s famed backwaters.
The rides will also be cost-effective and help people reach their destinations without being stuck in traffic snarls. The distances will take 10 to 20 minutes to cover.
Of the 78 boats, 23 are meant to be for 100 passengers, while 55 can seat 50. There will be four rescue vessels for emergencies.
The boats are characterised by low draught (depth), low wake (the trail of waves left behind by boats), low-energy and environment-friendly features. The most advanced lithium titanite spinel batteries will be used in the boats.
Kochi Water Metro had already won the Gucci Electric Boats Award, an international award for electric boats.
Watch: India’s first underwater journey by a metro | Kolkata
Keeping in mind ease of use of elderly and physically challenged commuters, floating jetties have been adopted. These will stay at the same level as the boats despite tidal variation.
Commuters can buy single-trip tickets, as well as weekly (Rs 180), monthly (Rs 600), and quarterly (Rs 1,500) passes. They can even travel by both Kochi Metro and Water Metro using the same Kochi One card. Tickets can be booked online too.
For now, the minimum ticket price for a Water Metro ride is Rs 20 and the maximum Rs 40. Services will be available from 7 am to 8 pm.
(With agency inputs)