Kochi to Launch Eco-Friendly Water Transport System

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Water Metro
Image of a Water Metro electric boat docked at the High Court terminal, in Kochi, India. Credit: The Indian Express.

Kochi is set to become the first Indian city to introduce a water metro, an innovative mode of transportation that merges water-based conveyance with road and rail transport.

The system, anticipated to commence operations shortly, will leverage Kochi's complex network of backwaters to provide a convenient and environmentally sustainable transit system for seamless commuting. The initial service will launch between the High Court and Vypeen routes, where the terminal construction has already been completed.

The Kochi Water Metro initiative aims to create an interconnected system of waterways to provide an eco-friendly and sustainable public transportation system spanning over 76 km across 38 terminals on 10 islands located around the city.

The project, which is anticipated to transport around 34,000 riders daily during its initial phase, is valued at INR 747 crore and has secured a financial grant of 85 million euros from the German financial institution KfW.

By easing traffic congestion on roads and minimising the city's carbon emissions, this project seeks to make a positive impact on the environment.

The authorities are planning to implement a unified ticketing system that will integrate water metro, metro rail, and bus tickets for passengers. Cochin Shipyard has been entrusted with constructing 23 boats, of which seven have been completed. These boats are powered by hybrid electric batteries, reducing both noise pollution and emissions.

According to Loknath Behera, Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd., the water metro is a distinctive idea that promotes sustainable water transportation. He further stated that Kochi is the perfect location to implement this concept because it is encircled by islands that are home to a significant population of islanders.

The hybrid boats, which can accommodate up to 100 and 50 passengers, respectively, are equipped with advanced technology. The water metro is expected to improve the socio-economic condition of the islanders and promote Kochi as a tourist destination.

The water metro will be a pioneering ferry service globally, with a fleet of cutting-edge electric hybrid boats that will provide transportation to a city and connect nearly 100,000 islanders. For centuries, waterways have been a critical aspect of Kochi's heritage, and the modern and sustainable water metro system revives this age-old custom.

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Source: The Business Line

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