KOCHI: As the tourism sector in the state gradually picks up after the setback suffered in the wake of the pandemic, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Muziris Heritage Project Ltd, allowing boat tours in the Kochi-Muziris heritage tourism circuit on CIAL’s solar boat. The cruise will add a new mode of revenue stream for CIAL until the canal project is completed.
Already well-known for its penchant for using green energy, CIAL owns a 24-seater solar boat with an air-conditioned compartment for trial operation in the west coast canal, renovated by its subsidiary Kerala Waterways and Infrastructures Ltd (KWIL).
As per the MoU signed by CIAL managing director S Suhas IAS and Muziris Heritage Project managing director P M Nowshad, the boat will be used for the circuit tours conducted by the Muziris Heritage Project on a revenue-sharing basis.
In February this year, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had inaugurated the first phase of the canal by taking a short cruise in the solar boat at the Veli-Kadinamkulam stretch of the canal in Thiruvananthapuram.
The boat has 15 solar panels mounted on its roof. The generated power is stored in the battery. It can also draw power from conventional sources and operate for five hours on a single charge. The boat is designed in such a way that it can cruise through a water body that has a minimum depth of 45cm.