Boat with a seating capacity of 10 can be hired at reasonable rates
Just like hiring an autorickshaw or taxi, the people of Alappuzha can soon hire a boat for traveling from one place to another through the backwaters. In a first in the State, the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is all set to launch water taxi services in the district in the first half of October.
Mr. Nair says the public can use the service at reasonable rates. “The tariff will be announced after getting the approval from the government,” he says. Water taxis can cruise at a maximum speed of 19 knots (35 km/hour). The vessels are being constructed by Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Private Limited, which built the country’s first solar ferry, Aditya. Sandith Thandasherry, CEO of Navgathi, says the first water taxi will be delivered to the SWTD by the month-end.
“With multiple hulls, catamarans have enhanced safety. They need less power, which makes them more fuel-efficient. The design is in a way that the boat can be used as taxis and as a rescue vessel, in case of an emergency. Due to its smaller size, the craft can reach anywhere,” Mr. Thandasherry says.
The boat comes with a 250-horse power outboard diesel engine imported from Sweden. Besides, it has an electric power steering and solar panel atop to provide enough electric energy to fulfil all the power requirements, including lights, fan, and control systems.
The location and launch of the rest of the three water taxis will be decided later.