The Kerala government has launched its fastest inland ferry, Vega 120, which connects Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. The ferry is partly air-conditioned and can cruise at a speed of 25km/hour.
Owned and operated by the State Water Transport Department (SWTD), the new vessel will cover the 35-km distance between Vaikkom and Ernakulam in 90 minutes, as compared to a two-hour timeframe of the buses on the same route.
The new vessel comes as a big relief for the commuters in the route, especially office-goers as this ferry service will be linked to other major points on the route through connection boats. The ferry can carry a total of 120 passengers – 40 in the AC cabin and 80 in the non-AC cabin with fixed ticket rates at Rs 80 and Rs 40 respectively.
Vega 120 was inaugurated on Sunday by Finance Minister Isaac Thomas and made its first trip from Vaikkom to Ernakulam on Monday morning. The first trip from Vaikkom to Ernakulam was covered in 1 hour 55 minutes with three stops at Perumbalam South, Panavally and Thevara Ferry.
Designed and built by Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions, the ferry is equipped with marine grade glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). Sandith Thandassery, CEO of Navgathi, earlier told indianexpress.com that the ferry will save a lot of money because of its ‘fuel-efficiency.’