Kochi water metro, unique in Asia, opens commercial operation

In the first phase, the water metro services will start on the High Court to Vypin and Vytilla to Kakkanad stretches, which will be covered in 20 minutes and 25 minutes respectively

Kochi Water Metro

Kochi: The much-awaited Kochi water metro (KWM), one of the dream projects of Kerala government, launched its commercial operation from Wednesday, a day after its formal inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Kochi water metro is not only the country’s first water metro and it is also the first-ever integrated water transport system of this size and scale in Asia.

One of the cheapest mode of communication, the Kochi water metro has been instituted at a cost of ₹1,136.83 crore. The project received funding from the Kerala government and a loan from KfW- a German state-owned investment and development bank.

In the first phase, the water metro services will start on the High Court to Vypin and Vytilla to Kakkanad stretches. One can travel from High Court to Vypin in just 20 minutes and from Kakkanad to Vytilla in 25 minutes by paying just ₹20.

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Frequent commuters can opt for weekly, monthly, and quarterly passes, as well. Kochi One Card can be used to travel seamlessly on both Kochi Metro and Kochi Water Metro. One can obtain a ticket digitally through Kochi One App.

KWM’s boats are being built by Cochin Shipyard. Once it is fully operational, 78 boats will ply between 38 terminals on 10 islands. The boats are made of aluminum catamaran hulls and FRP superstructure.

The boats are equipped with lithium titanate oxide batteries. These boats can be monitored and controlled from the state-of-the-art Operating Control Centre. Last year Kochi Water Metro won the prestigious Gussies Award (France) for the best commercial passenger electric boat in the world.

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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that the water metro project will improve the socio-economic conditions of islanders and help develop infrastructure. Since the transport system uses renewable sources of energy it is sustainable. The boat has been designed in a unique way that ensures negligible wave activity and does not disturb aqua flora and fauna.

In the first phase, 34,000 passengers can commute on the water metro. Officials of KWM said the Kochi water metro is expected to reduce 44,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per annum. He added that the water metro model can be replicated in 40 Indian cities.

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