SWTD gets Fibre Glass Reinforced boats

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Kochi, Feb 18 (UNI) The Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) today handed over ten Fibre Glass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boats to the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) at a function here.

The 75-seater boats, each costing Rs 40 lakh, were formally handed over to SWTD Director Alex Paul by former Tourism Minister and MLA K V Thomas.

Accepting the vessels, Mr Paul said the deployment of these boats in Alappuzha and Kochi, would help to alleviate the transportation problems of Kochi areas such as Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.

Rear Adm (retd) B R Menon, Chairman, KSINC, said the handing over of the boats had been delayed by two years as the matter had got entangled in some legal problems.

The state government had to issue an extraordinary gazette notification to amend the Travancore-Cochin Public Canals and Backwaters Navigation Rules, 1092, to include the FRP boats in the purview of the rules, he said.

Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, who could not participate in the function due to indisposition, in a message reiterated the government's resolve to develop inland water transportation in the state.

Fisheries Minister S Sarma was the chief guest on the occasion.

Others present included Ports Director Vijaya Pillai, Kochi Corporation Councillor Winny Abraham and KSINC Managing Director Cmde (retd) K V R Varier.

UNI ARC ROY HS BD1643

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