Kerala seeks Rs 7.5 crore from Centre for rescue vessels

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Kochi, Apr 27 (UNI) Kerala has submitted a project proposal worth Rs 7.5 crore to construct rescue boats under the 'Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme' (TRP), Revenue Minister K P Rajendran said today.

Addressing a gathering here after handing over 'Muziris,' the first of the two 'jhankars' being constructed by the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) under the TRP, to the Thrissur Panchayat president, Mr Rajendran said the State Government presently depended on the Navy for rescue services.

The proposal was part of a Rs 163 crore project submitted to the Centre for the development of the state's coastal areas, he said.

Rear-Admiral (Retd) B R Menon, KSINC Chairman, said the construction of the 'Muziris' was completed in a record time of three months as against the stipulated period of six months.

The 'jhankar' could accommodate four heavy vehicles and three light vehicles on the deck and more than 50 two-wheelers at a time.

There was also provision for carrying passengers on the upper deck, which was an added facility, he said.

The 'jhankar' would operate in the Munambam-Azhikode route, connecting the Ernakulam and Thrissur districts through the backwaters.

Meanwhile, the KSINC had also announced the commissioning of the 'Sagar Rani-II' cruise vessel tomorrow. The '100-passenger vessel' would be available for different cruise packages, especially for corporates.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, the vessel had an air conditioned conference hall, music floor and restaurant.

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