Synopsis: Kerala has been a major tourist spot for ages due to its palm-lined beaches, lush greenery, and backwaters. However, the adventure there is still missing in some parts. So, the Kerala tourism department has decided to start a solar ferry to make this area a full-service tourist spot.
This solar ferry will be the first of its kind and is still in under construction in Panavall Yard. According to reports, the vessel is expected to cost around 3 crores. The vessel's motor and battery were imported and commissioned just last week.
This solar vessel will operate in Ernakulam, ferrying tourists from the marine drive to the sea for INR 100 per person. Besides going to sea, the vessel will also connect Vembana Lake’s island and marine drive.
The water metro service in Kochi has its main focus on the Ernakulam-Vypeen route. However, there are more buses from Vypeen to Ernakulam, so, the residents are unlikely to use the Metro services.
According to authorities, the cruise vessel service will start its operation before the water metro service. Also, sources confirmed that the solar cruise service in Kerala will directly provide benefits to frequent travelers from Vypeen to Willington Island. Ferries running on this route witness heavy rush in the morning and evening hours due to different duty shifts. As a result, the operation of Water Metro will not have any effect whatsoever on SWTD boats.
Main highlights of the solar vessel:
The vessels will be fitted with solar panels, making this the first solar-powered ferry.
There will be two decks in the vessel, and the top one will be open.
The prices of the vessel are decided to be nominal, and it is very low in comparison to those taken by private boat operators.
There will be air-conditioned cabins and an electric charging facility on the vessel.
The vessel can carry 100 people at once.