A motorised water taxi service has been launched in the backwaters of Kuttanad in Alappuzha. The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) conducted a feasibility study with a Catamaran diesel-powered craft.
The boat was constructed by Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Private Limited, which built India’s first solar ferry, Aditya. The boat has a seating capacity for 10 passengers, comes with a 250-horse power outboard diesel engine imported from Sweden, and will be able to cruise at a maximum speed of 30 km/hour.
The boat has an electric power steering and a solar panel on top to provide electric energy to fulfil all the power requirements, including lights, fan, and control system.
Since the results of the feasibility study were found to be favourable, the first boat has become operational as a public taxi and an additional four boats have been ordered. The location and launch of the other three boats will be announced later.
Benny, the helmsman of the first boatsaid, “The boat has a power steering and I am happy to have got selected for the service. I think the water taxi will definitely boost the tourism sector in the Kuttanad region.”
The water taxi service is not just meant to be an effort to bolster tourism, but also to provide hassle-free commute to locals in the region who currently rely on boats to travel to the mainland. It has also been launched at a time when the State Government is working on an ambitious project – Kovalam-Bekal waterway – which will run from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram and connect the entire state through the waterway.
Feature courtesy: BusinessLine
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