On 25 April 2023, the Prime Minister inaugurated India’s first Water Metro service at Kochi, in Kerala. The PM stated that the Kochi Water Metro will not only make modern and cheap means of transport accessible for the people living in the nearing islets of Kochi but also benefit backwater tourism in the state.
The Water Metro project is expected to benefit around 4 lakh people living in the islands of Kochi, who have had limited access to affordable and reliable transportation. The water metro will connect the islands to the mainland, thereby improving their connectivity with the rest of the city. The project also aims to promote eco-tourism in the region and is expected to boost the local economy.
The ferries used in the water metro system are fast and fuel-efficient, making them an eco-friendly mode of transportation. The water metro network will be operated on 15 different routes, covering a total of 38 terminals. The project has been developed in two phases, with the first phase connecting the High Court-Vypin terminals to Vyttila-Kakkanad terminals.
The Water Metro project is a joint initiative of the Government of Kerala and KfW of Germany. The German funding agency has provided financial assistance of Rs 894.13 crore for the project. The remaining cost of Rs 242.70 crore has been funded by the Government of Kerala. The project has been developed by Kochi Water Metro, a subsidiary of Kochi Metro Rail Limited.
The launch of the Kochi Water Metro is a significant achievement for the city and the state of Kerala. The water metro system is expected to ease traffic congestion in the city and provide affordable and sustainable transportation to the people of Kochi. The project is a step towards building a modern and sustainable public transport network in the country.