The ‘steel cutting’ for the two roll-on-roll-off vessels of the Kochi Municipal Corporation was held on August 1 at 11 a.m. at the Cochin Shipyard.
The two vessels, which can carry passengers as well as cars and trucks, have been named as RY 96 and RY 97. Prof. K.V. Thomas, MP cut the steel for RY 96 and Mayor Tony Chammany cut the steel for the second vessel.
The vessels, to be built by the Cochin Shipyard, will be operated in the Kochi backwaters between Fort Kochi and High Court Junction reducing the travel time considerably. By road, it would require over an hour to cover the 20-km distance between these two points.
The city of Kochi is one of the fastest-growing urban centers in the country and is the commercial capital of Kerala. With 74 wards, the Municipal Corporation is the most densely populated one in the state and faces many challenges in the water sector, ranging from inadequate water distribution network, depleting groundwater quantity and quality to increasing water pollution, population growth and changing land use patterns that result in loss or depletion of water resources.
In this regard, a Water Audit for the city was coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development with the support of Water Institute of SCMS School of Engineering and Technology. Water audit is an important resource management tool to reduce misuse or overuse of water and for the effective conservation of the sources. The audit has revealed that more than half of the households in Kochi have insufficient water for household use. The audit has also brought to fore how contaminated the ground water in the area under the Kochi Municipal Corporation is. Protection and conservation of water resources have been highlighted as a remedy.