Country's first water taxis to ply in Alappuzha from October

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Alappuzha: The first water taxi service of the State Water Transport Department, Government of Kerala is all set for a launch at Alappuzha in October. This is the first such service in India, according to the authorities, who are planning to conduct an official inauguration on September 28 and start the trips next month.

"Four boats with advanced safety features will be used as water taxis. Each of the boats costs Rs 50 lakh and the construction of the vessels is in the final stage," said Shaji V Nair, Director, State Water Transport Department.

Explaining the advantages of the service, Nair said that it would take the public to their destinations quickly. "The services would be extended to the Kuttanad area also," he added.

Features of the water taxi

The water taxi can carry 10 passengers at a time and the boat has a maximum speed of 15 nautical miles, which comes to around 35 km per hour. A specially-designed engine imported from Sweden is being fitted on the boats at a yard in Aroor.

"The boat fare would be based on the number of hours of service. The taxi will be a boon for people depending on water transport," said the Water Transport Department Director.

"People can book the taxi through a special mobile number of the Water Transport Department. The boat will reach the place from where the call is made and take the passengers to their destination," he said.

Each boat would have three employees and the taxis would be parked at a special area in Alappuzha boat station.

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