The Kochi Corporation has asked the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to conserve one of the two roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) container ships operating in the Fort Kochi-Bolgatty Island corridor, as it is about one repair can take week sethus agar-2, a ro-ro ferry that was decommissioned Monday from the busy Vypeen-Fort Kochi route has been learned.
The container ro-ro had been introduced on the Bolgatty route earlier this year Sethusagar-1 was withdrawn from service in November after a technical problem. The container RoRo was discontinued after a week of service due to a low number of customers. Sethusagar-1 is still out of service awaiting dry docking at Cochin Shipyard.
Sources at Kochi Corporation said they would publicize the container ro-ro service widely for motorists and other commuters to use. At the same time, dry dock efforts are underway Sethusagar-1.
Sources at Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), which operates and maintains ro-ro vessels, said the coupling kit was expected Sethusagar-1 be installed from the Netherlands Sethusagar-2. It has arrived in Goa and will be delivered here in a few days. It costs ₹22 lakh each, and such expensive equipment cannot be stocked ahead of time. It would have been better if relied on Indian components, they added.
Regular ro-ro commuters like Denson Peter, a Vypeen resident, said such problems could have been addressed when the third ro-ro vessel (which had been earmarked for £10m in the state budget) was ready and the container Ro-Ro ship would have been prepared by then to enter service. “The government must also decide on an underwater tunnel proposed by experts to connect Vypeen and Fort Kochi, which will make it part of the coastal highway,” he said.