Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will launch a water taxi service of the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) in Alappuzha on Thursday.
According to Shaji V. Nair, Director, SWTD, a catamaran diesel-powered craft will be used for the water taxi service. The boat, with a seating capacity for 10 passengers, will pick passengers and drop them at their destination. The tariff fixed had been ₹750 for 30 minutes, Mr. Shaji said.
It can cruise at a maximum speed of 19 knots (35 km/hour). The vessel has been constructed by Kochi-based Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Private Limited, which built the country’s first solar ferry, Aditya. 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 SWTD has placed orders for four boats.
Mr. Vijayan will also inaugurate a catamaran boat service with a seating capacity of 100 passengers through videoconferencing at 11.30 a.m.