The Kerala State Water Transportation Authority is going to buy more passenger boats for inland services. In this, there will be a new solar cruise boat for Kerala. This will attract more tourists to the coastal areas of Kochi and Kollam. The new boats will also reduce the cost of travel. The state government gives permission to the authorities to purchase 2 water taxis, 2 passenger cum tourist service boats, and a solar cruise boat. The water taxis will be used for sightseeing purpose. They will be operated in Ernakulam and Alappuzha. The passenger cum tourist boats have a capacity of 90 will be deployed in Kollam.
Specifications Of New Solar Cruise Boat For Kerala
The new solar cruise boat for Kerala has a capacity of 100 passengers. This solar cruise boat will be constructed by the Kochi based Naval solar and electric boats (P) Ltd. The estimate for this project is around 3.15 crores. The solar cruise boat will be built according to the specifications of India Register of Shipping (IRS). It will be a double hull, catamaran class boat. This boat will be powered by Lithium-ion batteries and will have an 80 kWh total capacity. The design of this boat is done by Cochin University of Science and Technology’s (CUSAT) Ship Technology Department. According to the design, there will be a dining hall on the deck. This solar cruise boat will have their operation in Alappuzha Kumarakom route.
Aditya is the first solar-powered ferry launched in Kerala. This is powered by two 25 kWh lithium-ion battery which is charged by 78 solar panels. Currently, this solar-powered ferry has 8 scheduled trips in Vaikom – Thavanakkadavu stretch. They can work for 5 to 6 hours on a normal sunny day. The success of solar-powered ferry grew confidence in SWTD to move to renewable energy. This will help to reduce the cost of travel. The old-fashioned boats of SWTD use fossil fuels to power the engines. Under the current scenario, the fuel charges are high.
Other Boat Services From Kerala State Water Transport Department
The water taxis will attract more tourists. A water taxi can accommodate 15 passengers. The speed can be up to 10 knots. The tourists can hire this boats for hourly rent. This boat can be used as water ambulance at the time of emergency. Thus the islands will get easy access to the mainland. The water taxis service will begin within a year.
The construction of water taxis will be done by Navgathi Marine Design & Constructions (P) Ltd. Its estimated cost is 1.54 Crores. The SILK Ltd will manufacture the passenger cum tourist boats with an estimated cost of Rs. 3.8 Crores. The SWTD is also planning a fast ferry service in the Vaikom – Ernakulam section. The ferry will initially conduct 2 trips per day in the 35 KM section.