In a remarkable milestone for India’s transportation sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the country’s first water metro in Kerala’s Kochi district. The groundbreaking project, with a budget of Rs 1,137 crore, aims to connect ten small islands around Kochi using eco-friendly boats powered by hybrid technology. The water metro primarily seeks to provide an affordable mode of transport for both commuters and tourists.
Funding and Environmental Focus
The project is jointly funded by the German development bank, KFW, and the Kerala government. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan emphasized that the water metro demonstrates how urban transport can be environmentally friendly, aligning with the state’s commitment to sustainable development.
Understanding Kerala’s Water Metro
Kerala has long relied on inland water transport as a crucial means of transporting goods and passengers. The Kochi Water Metro is an extension of this existing infrastructure, utilizing ferry boats to connect the ten islands of Kochi.
The project entails the development of 15 identified routes, encompassing a network of 78 kilometers. A fleet of 78 electrically-propelled hybrid ferries will operate across 38 jetties, serving as a lifeline for more than 100,000 island residents and visitors alike.
Commencement Points for the Kerala Water Metro
The initial phase of the Kerala Water Metro (KWM) will commence operations from two terminals: High Court-Vypin and Vyttila-Kakkanad. Chief Minister Vijayan highlighted that commuters traveling from High Court Terminal to Vypin Terminal will cover the distance in under 20 minutes, bypassing traffic congestion. Similarly, the journey from Vyttila to Kakkanad via Water Metro will take just 25 minutes, providing commuters with efficient and hassle-free connectivity.
Integrated Travel with Kochi One Card
To facilitate seamless travel experiences, passengers can use the Kochi One Card for both the Kochi Metro Rail and the Kochi Water Metro. Special passes will be available, including a Rs 180 pass for 12 trips, a monthly pass offering 50 trips for Rs 600, and a quarterly pass providing 150 trips for Rs 1,500.
Ticket Pricing for Kerala Water Metro
Passengers can expect ticket prices ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 40 for the Kerala Water Metro. Booking tickets digitally will be possible through the Kochi One App, ensuring convenient and efficient access to the water metro service.
Boat Features and Safety Measures
Each boat employed by the KWM will accommodate 50 seats, with a total capacity to transport 100 passengers. Enhanced safety measures include 21 security cameras on board and 110 life jackets available for passengers’ peace of mind. Manufactured at Cochin Shipyard, the air-conditioned boats are designed in the likeness of metro trains, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey for commuters.
India’s first water metro in Kochi marks a significant step forward in revolutionizing the country’s transport infrastructure. By seamlessly integrating various islands through eco-friendly modes of transport, the project not only promotes sustainable travel but also enhances accessibility and connectivity for both residents and visitors. The Kerala Water Metro ushers in a new era of transportation, exemplifying the potential for innovative solutions to address the evolving needs of modern cities.