Vessels to operate on Ernakulam-Vypeen-Fort Kochi-Ernakulam circular route.

The State Water Transport Department’s (SWTD) armada of seven steel boats in Kochi will be supplanted in a half year by current sailboat vessels made of fiber-fortified plastic, which give added solace and security, the organization’s chief, Shaji V. Nair, has said.

Likewise, the interest to dig the water body close to the Mattancherry boat Jetty is as a rule consistently taken up with the Irrigation Department so that ships can securely call at the pier. The Irrigation Department has said that the work was as of late offered, he added, at a capacity held at Fort Kochi to dispatch a couple of sailboat ships – the main vessels of their sort from the SWTD stable.

The ferries were dispatched through video conferencing by Minister for Transport A K Saseendran. They will work normal excursions in the Ernakulam-Vypeen-Fort Kochi-Ernakulam circular route, from Tuesday.

Each ship has 100 seats and is equipped for achieving rate of up to 7 nautical miles (roughly 12kmph). They have seats like that in low-floor transports. Having two structures, the sailboat ships offer more security than their single-body partners in activity now.

“The bodies have various compartments to keep the vessel from sinking regardless of whether water enters any one compartment. Moreover, a programmed pump can be initiated to pump out the water in the event that the need emerges. The sailboat ships additionally have a couple of motors and propellers to keep them from floating into the ocean if any motor slows down. Five all the more such ships will be dispatched – at the pace of one consistently. The ticket charge will be equivalent to in more seasoned ships,” Mr Nair said.

Costing ₹1.90 cr each, the SWTD submitted a request to fabricate seven such vessels with Praga Marine, Aroor, in 2019.

The old ships will be taken to Alappuzha for activity in the backwaters there. “Our quick ship ‘Vega-120’ that works in the Vaikom-Ernakulam-Fort Kochi course has continued activities post the pandemic circumstance. Its sister vessel is high sought after to ship sightseers on backwater travels in Alappuzha with food given by Kudumbashree individuals,” he said.

K.J. Maxi, MLA, directed the capacity.