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Boat services from Vyttila hub delayed

August 03 2013 6:08 PM

KOCHI: The slow pace of Kunnara Canal dredging works and delay in the construction of boat jetty have put the brakes on the ambitious plan of the state water transport department (SWTD) to start boat services from Vyttila Mobility Hub. Though the department had planned boat service from the hub to Kakkanad in April this year, uncertainty looms over the commencement of the service.

"Dredging and piling works at the jetty are not over. If dredging is not completed by May-end, there would be further delays as no dredging can be carried out during monsoon," said an official with the hub. Irrigation department was entrusted with the task of dredging and building the jetty for ferry service. Sources said around 1.4-km stretch of the canal had to be dredged to start the service.

Despite the delay, transport secretary Elias George is hopeful of starting the boat service by June. "The launch of ferry service was delayed due to the construction of boat jetty. But there is no need to conduct dredging as it is navigable," he said.

Executive engineer of major irrigation division Babu Varghese said dredging was delayed because there was no place to dump the mud in the nearby locality. "This load has to be transported to some other place. But it is not possible to transport wet mud. Therefore mud is dumped in some available land of the irrigation department and transported after it is dried," he said, adding that there were delays in procuring a dredger.

According to SWTD officials, the boat service would be a cheaper transportation option and the Vyttila- Kakkanad stretch could be covered within 15 minutes. Two more jetties will come up at the hub, one for tourist boats and the other for private passenger boats during the second phase of the mobility hub project.

Courtesy: Times of India