Demand is strong for a third ro-ro ferry in the Vypeen-Fort Kochi corridor

As demand picks up to introduce a third ro-ro ferry in the busy Vypeen-Fort Kochi corridor, the Kochi Corporation will convene a meeting of stakeholders, including the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC ) which operates the two existing Ro-Ro ferries, to come up with an action plan, Mayor Mr Anilkumar said.

This follows repeated requests from NGOs and others to deploy a third, larger vessel to the corridor, given instances where one of the two vessels is often withdrawn from service due to technical issues. This in turn results in a meandering queue of vehicles forming near the Vypeen and Fort Kochi terminals as a conventional ferry that can only carry passengers is introduced as a substitute.

The state government had earmarked ₹10 crore in the budget for Kochi Corporation to procure the third Ro-Ro. The mayor’s statement comes on the heels of Vypeen office members Janakeeya Kootayma, a conclave of organizations demanding increased Ro-Ro services in the hallway, meeting with him on Saturday and submitting a memorandum.

“We informed him of the urgent need for a spare vessel. We had been spearheading demand since 2017, even before the first ship, Sethusagar-1, has been presented. There was a substantial break in the service of one of the two ships when she was put in dry dock at the Cochin shipyard where the sister ships were manufactured. It has disrupted the travel habits of thousands of islanders,” said Majnu Komath, Chairman of Kootaayma.

Passengers will benefit if the third ship is larger than the existing ones. The equipment of the two terminals will therefore also have to be improved, he said.

Meanwhile, the mayor attributed the delay in moving forward with plans to acquire the third ship, among other things, to the Thrikkakara Assembly by-election. “Cochin Shipyard will also be the best bet to build the third ship,” he said.

About Kevin Strickland

Check Also

Plans for Coney Island ferry unknown after ‘exhaustive search’

A city agency says it is still committed to bringing ferry service to Coney Island, …