Kochi | Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) on Wednesday launched the first in a series of two double ended roll-on-roll-off (Ro-Ro) ferry vessels being built for the Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The ferry will ply between Vypin and Fort Kochi carrying 12 cars and three trucks or 18 cars, besides 50 passengers, enabling movement of lorry/passenger vehicles without entering the city.
The vessel was launched by Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain in presence of Ernakulam MP K V Thomas.
The vessel works like a floating bridge with ramps at both ends, a CSL release said.
Its most important feature is that the vehicles drive in and drive out on first in first out basis meaning there is no need to reverse the vehicles during loading of the vessel which drastically reduces loading/ unloading time.
“Hence special driving skills are not required for vehicle drivers to load the vehicles into the vessels,” it said.
This would be a great advantage for senior citizens, it added.
Another special feature of the vessel is an air conditioned wheel house for the comfort of the operator.
The vessel is also designed to withstand deck loading for trucks and heavy vehicles, with heavy duty ramp and hinged flaps to ensure safe loading and unloading of vehicles.
The ferry was designed in-house and built according to the rules of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), a ship classification society.
The vehicle also has a number of inbuilt safety features.
Structural tanks are designed to withstand flooding of engine/ thruster compartments ensuring safety of the vessel in case of structural damages in the event of a collision.
Bilge safety alarms in all compartments are provided to detect flooding even in closed compartments.
Fire alarm systems are provided for engine rooms.
Apart from this, safety tips and alarms of the engine and thruster are displayed in the wheel house and echo sounder is also provided to know the depth of water.
While the ferry is small compared to bigger vessels CSL has built and delivered like deck cargo launch barge for National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi and under- construction indigenous aircraft carrier for Indian Navy, the ferry’s launch marks “entry into the inland water transport sector, riding on the back of government’s efforts to promote cargo and passenger transportation through a vast network of rivers and canals spread across the country,” said Madhu S Nair, CSL chairman and managing director.