Kerala’s backwaters and houseboats are famous among tourists. Unbeknownst to many, they are a cause of water pollution. To avoid this, the state’s Water Transport Department is set to introduce electric boats that would run on solar power. This is part of the department’s plan to convert 50 per cent of its boats to solar-powered boats. According to reports, the first of these boats will start operating in the first week of July.
Alappuzha To Get Solar-Powered Electric Houseboats
Under an initiative to reduce pollution, the Water Transport Department is planning to get 15 electric boats. The introduction of boats with capacities of 30, 75, and 100 passengers, respectively, is planned. The solar-powered boat that provided service along the Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu route was a big success.
A single fibre-built catamaran will cost about ₹2.5 crore. When the first boat enters service in July, it can accommodate up to thirty passengers. The new boats would then be deployed to the Muhamma – Maniyamparambu route in the meantime. The water transport division does not currently offer many services along this route. The catamarans are lighter since they are made of fibre. The yards in Pattanakad and Panavally are where the boats are being built.
The Kerala Water Transport Department unveiled Aditya, the first solar-powered boat in the nation. In the first two years, the boat had saved about 58,450 litres of fuel. Additionally, the division was able to turn a profit of ₹41 lahks. Aditya manages the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route’s services.
It Is Relatively Cheaper!
In order to operate for up to 13 hours per day, regular boats need diesel worth ₹10,000. It takes about 120 gallons of diesel. The costs would only be ₹350 when the boats were powered by solar energy.
Meanwhile, during the evenings when the sun isn’t as bright, the boats might be run on conventional electricity. The cost of the power will be ₹350. The majority of the water transport department’s boats currently operate at a loss. Many services don’t even get paid for the fuel they use.
The only boats that provide services to the tourism industry and are lucrative are See Kuttanad and Vega.
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva (Rep Img)