Kochi: KWML Floats Tender For Mattancherry Water Metro Terminal, To Elevate Tourism

After years of delays, Kochi Water Metro authorities have finally initiated the tender process for the construction of the Water Metro terminal in Mattancherry.

The action council for the Mattancherry Water Metro Terminal had engaged in discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, urging swift construction of the terminal.

In 2019, the metro authorities had originally assigned a contractor for the terminal’s construction, setting a completion deadline for March 2021. However, the project failed to commence within the stipulated timeframe, leading to the termination of the contract.

As per The Hindu report, Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML) has been awaiting clearance from the German lending agency, KfW, for several months to proceed with the third round of tendering for the construction of the Mattancherry Water Metro terminal.

This particular terminal stands out from the others due to a portion of it being situated over the waterbody, making piling and related construction work a bit more challenging.

The KWML team has been engaged in discussions with KfW representatives, who are currently visiting Kochi, to address these concerns.

The report mentioned that certain design flaws in the original plan have been rectified, and they are optimistic about receiving KfW’s approval to initiate the tender process for the Mattancherry terminal as well as 14 other terminals included in the tender package.

Once the contracts are awarded, the KWML team aims to complete the construction of the Mattancherry and other terminals within six months.

These structures are expected to be hybrid, combining pre-fabricated elements with concrete construction.

Despite the previous delays, progress has already been made in constructing floating pontoons, which will serve as boarding points for ferry commuters.

Additionally, parking facilities will be made available near water metro terminals wherever feasible.

Furthermore, there are plans to introduce a fleet of 20 e-buses and 100 e-autos to provide last-mile connectivity, particularly to the 10 islands that the ferries will connect. This comprehensive approach aims to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of the water metro system in Kochi.

The construction of the water metro terminal holds great potential for boosting the tourism sector in Mattancherry, which is a prominent tourist destination in the state, known for attractions like the synagogue.

Former mayor K J Sohan proposed the construction of a corridor connecting the water metro stations in Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, which would serve as an additional attraction for tourists and contribute to the development of both areas, reports Economic Times.

In the meantime, the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is still in the process of renovating its boat jetty in Mattancherry. Services at this jetty were suspended following the 2018 floods, attributed to silt sedimentation in the boat channels.

Kochi Water Metro

The Kochi Water Metro is an integrated water transport initiative that seeks to enhance connectivity between the mainland and the islands of Kochi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 25 April, inaugurated the first phase of the Kochi Water Metro — India’s first ‘water metro’ service.

The Kochi Water Metro project envisages connecting 38 terminals spread across 10 islands in and around Kochi, with a fleet of 78 fast, electrically-propelled hybrid ferries.

KWML aims to complete the construction of 32 terminals by December 2024.

Enhancing connectivity to remote islands will not only benefit the islanders in reaching the mainland but also promote tourism in those areas.

The project aims to improve the livelihoods and living standards of both islanders and the general public. It is expected to benefit more than one lakh islanders.

Once Phase-I is fully operational in 2024, it is expected to serve 34,000 passengers a day.

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