THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opening a brand new chapter within the state’s water transport sector, the primary section of the 590km-West Coast canal was devoted to the nation on Monday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the West Coast canal by taking a brief cruise alongside the Parvathy Puthanar canal to Poundkadavu on a photo voltaic boat from Veli.
The complete navigable route runs from Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram to Neeleswaram in Kasaragod district, of which the 328km-long phase from Kollam to Kallai in Kozhikode is an element of National Waterway 3.
Dedicating the brand new waterway, the chief minister travelled on solar-powered ‘Vembanad’ constructed by Cochin International Airport Ltd. MLAs V S Sivakumar, V Joy, Mayor Arya Rajendran, Additional Chief Secretary T Okay Jose and CIAL managing director V J Kurian attended the inaugural perform. The 24-seater boat that was purchased for passenger service within the sector, has 12 seats in an air-conditioned cabin. The 15-metre-long boat can journey at a pace of 10 nautical miles per hour.
As half of the launch, desilting was carried out alongside the backwater stretch from Veli to Kadinamkulam. The renovation of the waterway from Kovalam to Veli is quick progressing whereas the present walkway at Karikkakam would get replaced by a bascule bridge.
“The inauguration of the eco-friendly mode of transportation marks the beginning of a new chapter in infrastructure development. The state, over the past five years, has made a quantum leap in mobility and transport sectors,” tweeted the chief minister.