Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) signed a MoU on 19th July 2017 with Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) with the intent of developing a world-class boat jetty and marina for the Kochi Water Metro Project on Marine Drive. The Agreement was signed by Shri. Konain Khan, General Manager (Operations, Maintenance & Water Transport), KMRL and Shri. M.C. Joseph, Secretary, GCDA in the presence of Shri. C.N. Mohanan, Chairman, GCDA and Shri. Elias George, Managing Director, KMRL at the office of KMRL in Revenue Tower, Kochi. At this meeting, MD, KMRL also announced an initiative and a campaign for a systemic cleaning of the Vembanad/Kochi Lake as part of the Kochi Water Metro project and focus on cleaning and de-littering the Vembanad Lake as well as its surrounding areas. This initiative is proposed to be launched in August 2017 with an ideation workshop.

The integrated Water Metro jetty facility will be of world-class standards and will provide safe and secure access to passengers and tourists without affecting free movement of pedestrians on the Marine Drive walkway. This marina will be constructed with a capacity of holding more than 150 boats at a time. The Government has allotted Rs.4.5 crore to GCDA for the purpose of jetty development, which will also be eventually utilized for the development of this facility.

Shri. C.N. Mohanan, Chairman, GCDA mentioned at the ceremony that GCDA had decided to join hands with KMRL for co-development of this jetty, for ensuring the best possible facilities for passengers. While GCDA will provide land for the construction of the jetty, the marina will include facilities like waiting rooms, wash rooms, free Wi-Fi, shopping facilities, etc.

Briefing the media regarding the progress of the Water Metro project, Shri. Elias George, MD, KMRL stated that the consultants for the project are now in place and work has been started on amending the project documents as well as the financial and technical specifications of key components of the Water Metro project like the boats, their construction material, carrying capacity, jetty design, etc. After this work is over, the procurement activity is expected to start soon.

MD, KMRL also stated that as part of the Water Metro project, it is only natural to initiate a project for preserving and protecting the Kochi Lake/Vembanad ecosystem, where KMRL is planning to play the role of a catalyst, by bringing specialised expertise, technical assistance and manpower support along with other stakeholders like Government organisation, NGOs, environmental activists, Corporates and other interested organisations to work together in pursuit of a sustainable plan for preserving and cleaning the Kochi Lake/Vembanad ecosystem. Since KMRL is availing soft loans and technical assistance from European agencies like Agence Francaise De Development (AFD), France and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Germany, we were also planning to approach them for continued assistance and back-up for the lake-cleaning project.

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