India’s biggest solar-powered boat, Indra, is a success

In only two weeks after its inauguration in the Kochi backwaters, “Indra,” the nation’s biggest solar-electric boat, has reached almost full capacity, marking the success of the Kerala State Water Transport Department’s (SWTD) latest green effort.

The 100-seat cruise ship is reserved just for tourist trips. It has an upper deck that has been expressly designed to provide visitors with a “open spaced” view of the backwaters, as well as a snack counter and onboard entertainment options.

The boat is crowded on weekends and public holidays, with daily collections approaching the Rs 18,000 level. We’re getting prior group reservations now that summer vacation is officially underway, said Traffic SP M Sujith.

On March 31, the Rs 3.5-crore boat was unveiled. It offers two three-hour boat cruises every day. Since the ship is one of the few tourist services that travels all the way to the sea’s edge, there is a lot of demand for the evening, sunset cruise. The cost of operation will be much lower since it runs on solar energy. Above all, there won’t be any noise or carbon pollution, the official said.

The ship leaves from the Ernakulam boat pier and travels via Willingdon Island to return to Marine Drive via Bolgatty Palace, Vallarpadam, Container Terminal, Vypeen, Kamalakadavu, and Fort Kochi. Each adult ticket is Rs 300, while each child’s ticket is Rs 150.

The SWTD and Kudumbashree have partnered to provide the on-board food counter service, where visitors may purchase snacks and drinks. The first tourist cruise ship with an on-board food shop was Vega, which was stationed in the backwaters of Alappuzha. We are excited to serve delicious food on board in Indra as well, thanks to its success—the collections exceeded Rs 5 crore in only two years, according to SWTD director Shaji V Nair.

The services were first offered between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. To accommodate the greatest number of clients, Shaji said that SWTD has rescheduled the morning trip to 11 am as well. The evening journey will now begin at 4 pm due to the very humid circumstances that are now in place.

This year, SWTD intends to add at least one solar boat to its fleet each month in order to further its green strategy.

“At various private yards, work is progressing on these 14 IRS (Indian Registrar of Shipping) class vessels, which have varying passenger capacities,” Shaji said.

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