Kochi: The ambitious and unique water metro project floated by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) might be reconsidered. As per the recent development Cochin Port Trust has asked KMRL to reconsider its decision on setting water metro. The water jetty metro is proposed to come up at 200 metres to the west of the Kamalakadavu jetty.
Mayor KJ Sohan has written to the Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan that the water metro project posed for Fort Kochi be integrated with the two boat jetties by now in place at Kamalakadavu where buses to Fort Kochi stoppage.
KMRL had already proposed setting up new jetty located at 200 metres to the west of the Kamalakadavu jetty. According to the location, this jetty would be close to the harbour mouth and would be very dangerous to navigate owing to turbulent waves.
Cochin Port Trust that has the ownership of beach front has sent a written request to KMRL. They had sent a letter in February stating that the construction of jetty at the location is not feasible. But KMRL officials went ahead by finalising the design and even started conducting soil testing on the location. The mayor has written the same in the letter to the CM.
Add to this the proposed location is flanked by huge Chinese fishing nets, which have high heritage significance.
Sohan also observed that the number of jetty have been reduced owing to non-availability of long teak logs. Earlier 16 jetties were proposed and now this number has come down to nine. It is therefore, necessary to construct water metro jetty alongside existing jetties, making inter-modal transportation effortless for riders.
KMRL on the other hand stated that they decided to locate jetty 200 metres away from Kamalakadavu based on the suggestion offered by expert in a study. The officials also add that the location selected for water metro jetties at various locations in Greater Kochi based on public utility, accessibility, and a complete multi-modal integration. KMRL is committed to reducing social impact and safeguarding the cultural and aesthetic values of Fort Kochi.
Metro officials on the assured, that none of the Chinese nets will be damaged or pulled down during the construction of jetty. KMRL had also worked out a plan to bring down the number of berths on jetty. This way it is ensuring preservation of Chinese nets.
Kochi Metro officials has also had a meeting with Chinese net owners in presence of Fort Kochi councillor Shiny Mathew in May in presence of K.J. Maxi, MLA. They were assured that the nets would be reserved at the same location. The choice to keep the jetty closer to the nets was taken bearing in mind the tourist magnetism.