A new Ro-Ro service connecting Willingdon Island and Bolgatty is expected to start within a few days. Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) will be managing the vessels, which will be transporting container-laden trucks in the first phase. Later on, other vehicles also will be transported.
Though the service was expected to be started on November 1, 2020, it had to be rescheduled due to technical reasons. “There was a clearance issue. The height of some of the trailers carrying containers required more clearance. So, the vessels were taken back to Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) where they were built. After alterations, the CSL has returned the vessels,” an official with KSINC said.
The vessels — M V Adisankara and M V Raman — were constructed at a cost of Rs 15 crore. “Of the two vessels, only one will be plied at first. So, we require berthing lot for the other vessel. We have approached Cochin Port Trust (CPT) authorities for the purpose,” a KSINC official said. “The second vessel also will start services once the operations of the first one is streamlined,” the official said.
Once the service is started, the trucks transporting containers to the southern parts of the state from the International Container Trans-shipment Terminal at Vallarpadam can use the shortcut without entering the busy city roads. This will reduce the travel time and cost as well as decrease traffic congestion in the city.
Meanwhile, there has been demand for extending the timings of the Ro-Ro services, which are already plying in the Fort Kochi-Vypeen sector. Vypeen Janakeeya Koottayma (a forum of residents in Vypeen) has demanded to extend the services to 24X7. “As of now, the services would start at 6am and end at 10pm. There should be two vessels plying from 6am to 10pm. One vessel should ply from 10pm to 6am,” said Vypeen Janakeeya Koottayma chairman Majnu Komath.