The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), which is responsible for implementing four out of around 100 smart city projects in India, is executing India’s first ever water-metro transport integration project in the Greater Kochi region.
Speaking on the project, Reshmi CR, Joint General Manager, KMRL, said, “as a part of the integrated transportation model to be put into place in Kochi, KMRL will implement the integrated water transport project at a cost of Rs 747 crore with the financial assistance of German Bank, KfW.”
The Government has reached an agreement with KfW for a long-term loan of Rs 579.71 crore, whereas the State Government’s share would come to Rs 102.30 crore. The Government intends to source Rs 65.27 crore through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Kochi is the first city in the country wherein water transport will be integrated as a feeder service to the metro. For the first time in India that such a significant level of investment is being brought in for improving water transport. The project envisages the development of 16 identified routes, connecting 10 islands along a network of routes that span 76 km with a fleet of 78 fast, fuel efficient, air-conditioned ferries playing to 38 jetties. More than 1,00,000 islanders are expected to benefit from the water metro.
According to KMRL officials, western Kochi, Mattanchery, Fort Kochi, Thoppumpadi and Edakochi regions are part of the project. The possibility of including more regions would be studied once the present project is completed.