A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for managing the water transport services for the city will be formed soon as Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has already prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for the same. The DPR will be submitted to the Ministry of Urban Development by the end of the month. As per the DPR, the major constituents of the SPV are KMRL, Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) and State Water Transport Department.
“The water transport network will be one of the major feeder system for the Kochi Metro rail. We are planning to integrate the transport network in the city . We have set aside `40 crore in the annual budget of KMRL for the SPV,” said KMRL MD Elias George. The primary objective of the SPV will be the purchase of advanced boats for conducting services and upgradation of existing jetties as well as the construction of new ones. The cost for the purchase of new boats and jetty development is estimated at `52 crore.
As per the DPR, the property development will be carried out at jetties in Fort Kochi, Vypeen, Mattanchery, Thevara, Ernakulam and Willingdon Island. The five major routes on which the service will be launched are- Ernakulam-Willingdon Island-Mattanchery-Fort Kochi-Vypeen; Fort Kochi-Thevara-Thykoodam-Vyttila-Info Park;Willingdon Island-Thoppumpady-Thevara-Thykoodam-Vyttila-Info Park; Vypeen-Ernakulam Boat Jetty-Thevara-Thykoodam-Vyttila-Info Park; Ernakulam Boat Jetty-Mulavukad-Cheranallur-Varapuzha-Eloor.
Free Bus Service
When asked about the recently launched Vyttila-Kakkanad boat service, George said that KMRL will soon launch a free bus service from Kakkanad Jetty to Info Park and Civil Station. “We believe that the lack of connectivity from Kakkanad Jetty to the town and Info Park is one of the issues bothering commuters. Hence we will launch a free bus service in tune with the boat timings. The services will continue till the construction work of Metro rail is completed,” he added.
The KMRL will soon appoint a transaction adviser to design the financial architecture of Metro stations and the Metro City proposed at Kakkanad. “Four major international firms have participated in the bidding process. The companies include Ernst & Young, Darashaw and Co Pvt Ltd, Knight Frank India Pvt Ltd and Jones Lang Lasalle Property India Ltd. One of these companies will be entrusted to prepare a detailed report on efficient utilisation of commercial spaces near the stations and the Metro city,” he said.