Kochi launches India’s first Water Metro, connecting islands and mainland
Kochi, Kerala: On April 24, 2023, the city of Kochi launched India’s first water metro, a ferry system designed to connect the city’s islands and mainland areas. The inauguration ceremony was attended by several government officials, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The Water Metro project was initiated by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) in collaboration with the Kerala government and the German development bank KfW. The project aims to provide a sustainable and affordable mode of transport for the people of Kochi, reducing traffic congestion and promoting eco-tourism in the area.
The Water Metro comprises 78 modern air-conditioned ferries with a capacity of 100-150 passengers each. The ferries are equipped with solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and waste management facilities, making them an eco-friendly alternative to traditional modes of transport.
It will initially operate on two routes, connecting the islands of Vypin, Mulavukad, and Kadamakkudy to the mainland. The service will run from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, with a frequency of every 20-30 minutes during peak hours and every 60 minutes during non-peak hours.
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This project is expected to benefit around 5 lakh residents of the islands and provide employment opportunities for the local community. It is also expected to boost tourism in the area, as visitors can explore the islands and their unique culture and heritage.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his speech, lauded the Water Metro project as a significant milestone in Kochi’s development journey. He expressed hope that the project would pave the way for similar initiatives in other cities in the country, promoting sustainable and environment-friendly modes of transport.
The Water Metro project, which was initially proposed in 2016, faced several delays due to various reasons, including land acquisition issues and environmental clearances. However, with the joint efforts of the KMRL, Kerala government, and KfW, the project has finally become a reality, providing a much-needed boost to Kochi’s transportation infrastructure and environmental sustainability.
The launch of India’s first Water Metro in Kochi marks a significant step towards promoting sustainable and affordable modes of transport in the country. The project is expected to benefit the local community and boost tourism in the area, while also setting an example for other cities in the country to follow.