July 18 2022: With the delivery of a second electric ferry boat by Cochin Shipyard, in early July – and three more promised by month-end, chances are good that Water Metro services will commence in the Kochi backwaters of Kerala, well before the Onam festival in September.
These boats are part of an order for 23 electric ( battery powered) ferry craft placed by the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) which will also operate the water metro services. Initially the boats are expected to serve the High Court-Bolghatty- Vypeen corridor, as well as the Vytilla- Kakkanad corridor, expected to be the two most in-demand route on the Kochi backwaters.
The boats vary from 100 to 50 seaters and eventually some78 boats will touch 38 terminals in the region.
KMRL proposes to operate some of these services directly and open others to a public-private-partnership.
This opens up the opportunity for travel operators to sponsor some of these boats specifically with a focus on tourism.
Karnataka plans ‘water-dromes’ to boost tourism
The Karnataka government has identified multiple rivers and reservoirs in the state to locate water aerodromes for providing air connectivity and boosting tourism. These include Kali River, Malpe, Mangalore, Tungabhadra, Almatti, Krishnaraja Sagar,Byndur,Lingnamakki and Hidkal.