Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will formally launch the Akkulam – Kollam waterway today. He will present the waterway to the public by moving onboard the 24 seaters solar-powered safari boat, obtained by Kochi airport for the tourism department, through the renewed 11 km of the backwaters from Veli to Kadinamkulam. Water Resources Minister K Krishnankutty, Shashi Tharoor, MP, and Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran are programmed to chaperon.
The project is part of the 100-day schedule of the LDF government. The extent is part of the 590 km- long West Coast Canal (WCC) from Kovalam in the state capital to Neeleshwar in Kasaragod district. Officials said the route along the West Coast Canal which moves through the hinterland will proffer tourism a blow. Meantime, the solar boat worth around `90 lakh to the state treasury had reached the Veli Boat Club of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) last Wednesday. “We did extensive trial runs to ensure that there are no disruptions during the inauguration. This is a prestigious project and the waterway was made navigable during the past five years,” said an officer connected with the project. The trial run will be taken.
The solar boat which is 15.3 meters long and 2.93 meters wide, with a height of 3.84 meters, can navigate with efficiency in areas that have a depth of at least one meter. The tourism authorities had got Cusat to create the boat while complying with the terms of the Directorate of Ports. The trial run to be conveyed from Chackai to Kadinamkulam under the supervision of Kerala Waterways and Infrastructure Ltd (KWIL) the special purpose vehicle(SPV) formed by the government for the rejuvenation of the inland waterways and the coastal and inland navigation department will be carried over the next couple of days.