Ernakulam: The construction work on the much-awaited Kerala’s Kochi Water Metro project is progressing well with the target of commencing its first journey in January 2021. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd is carrying out the construction work.

The construction of terminals at Vyttila, Kakkanad, High Court Junction, Vypin, Cheranalloor and Eloor has started. Meanwhile, the tender procedures for the terminals at Bolgatti, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Kadamakudi, Paliam Thuruth, Cheranalloor, South Chittoor, Mulavukadu North and Ernakulam Ferry has been completed. Kochi Water Metro is building world-class terminals similar to the stations of Kochi Metro Rail. The ticketing facilities and entry/exit arrangements will also be similar.

Facilities will be provided for people with disability to travel without any difficulty. The boat jetties are being constructed in such a way that they float on the water according to the water level. This will avoid the hassle of accessing the boat during high/low tide. The boats are designed to carry up to three wheelchairs at a time.

The first boat being built by the Kochi Shipyard will be handed over in December. This boat can carry 100 passengers. The next four boats are expected to be completed and handed over by March. There will be 23 boats with a capacity of carrying 100 passengers and 55 boats with a capacity of carrying 50 people. Aluminium is used for the construction of the boat body. The boatyard, which can repair up to eight boats at a time, will be located at the KINFRA park. Government land was made available for construction work and acquisition of private land is in progress.

The Kochi Water Metro service being constructed at a cost of Rs 678 crores will have 38 stations on 15 routes covering a distance of 78.6 kms. The Water Metro will solve the travel hassles of the islanders of Vypin, Wellington, Edakochi, Kumbalam, Nettoor, Vyttila, Eloor, Kakkanad, Bolgatti and Mulavkadu. The Water Metro service will also connect major tourist destinations in the district and would also benefit tourism development in the area.

Caption: Work in progress of Kochi Metro boat jetty