The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on Friday handed over the first of the 23 battery-powered electric boats being constructed for the water metro project under the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). In an event at the shipyard here, the first boat was handed over to the KMRL in the presence of its MD Loknath Behra and his wife Madhumita Behra.
CSL Chairman and Managing Director Madhu S Nair, KMRL Directors K R Kumar, D K Sinha, CSL Directors Bjoy Bhaskar, V J Jose, Water Metro General Manager Shaji Janardhanan and others were present during the event. Madhmita Behra named the boat Muziris.
"This is the first of the 23 boats awarded for building to Cochin Shipyard under the Kochi Water Metro project. Five boats are under construction and will be handed over to KMRL in a couple of months by the CSL," KMRL said in a press release. The construction of water metro terminals is also progressing. Vyttila and Kakkanad terminals are almost ready and dredging is completed, and installation of floating pontoons is also in the final stage. Vypin, High Court, Eloor, Cheranalloor, Chittoor, terminals would be ready by April 2022.
The battery-powered water metro boat can carry 100 passengers. KMRL said it was for the first time in the world a centrally controlled integrated water transport system with a large fleet is powered by battery.
"Water metro boats uses LTO batteries, which is the latest in battery technology and safest battery chemistry industrially available with a capability for fast charging. The battery can be charged in 10 to 15 minutes while the passengers are alighting/boarding. The super-chargers are installed in floating pontoon jetties at select locations," KMRL said. Kochi Water Metro is a climate-friendly integrated water transport initiative to improve connectivity of the people with 38 terminals and 78 boats over 76 route kilometers.
Water metro boats are aluminum catamaran hull construction with high degree of safety and stability, KMRL said. "Together with the use of floating jetties, it makes disabled and elderly friendly. Super-efficient hulls are designed for 10 knots speed which are considerably faster than the vintage system of boats back here and consumes very less energy. The fully air-conditioned boats with wide windows offer a comfortable travel with exotic view of the banks and backwaters which would be an exciting experience to the passengers and tourists. Interiors are designed to have a seamless experience for metro travelers," KMRL said.
The boats are designed to create very few waves over the narrow channels even at high speed and would traverse calmly and silently. KMRL said an automatic boat location system would continuously monitor the boat position from the Operating Control Centre at Vytilla hub and the CCTV system is capable of monitoring the boat activities from remote locations for enhanced safety and security.