The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) has introduced water taxi service in Muhamma.
It was inaugurated by Muhamma grama panchayat president Swapna Shabu on Sunday.
The SWTD launched the State’s first water taxi in Alappuzha in October 2020. Since its launch, the vessel was largely operated from Changanassery. The decision to shift it to Muhamma was taken with an eye on tourists arriving for backwater cruises.
Officials of SWTD said the water taxi service had received a good response on the first day of its operations in Muhamma.
“A good number of people hired the water taxi to visit tourist destinations like Pathiramanal island, Kumarakom, Thanneermukkom bund among other areas of Vembanad Lake. People who cannot afford houseboats can enjoy cruising on the backwaters in the water taxi. We are offering the service at reasonable rates and hope it will turn out to be a big hit among visitors,” said an official.
The tariff for one hour journey is fixed at ₹1,500. The SWTD is planning to launch two more water taxis. “Two water taxis are under construction. Their launch and service location will be decided once they are completed,” said Shaji V. Nair, director, SWTD.
The water taxi, a catamaran diesel-powered craft, with a seating capacity for 10 passengers, will pick passengers and drop them at their destination. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 19 knots (35 km/hour). The boat has a 250-horse power outboard diesel engine imported from Sweden. Besides, it has an electric power steering and solar panel atop to provide enough electric energy to fulfil all the power requirements, including lights, fan and control system. Due to its smaller size, the craft can reach anywhere.
According to officials, multiple hulls give it enhanced safety. It needs less power, which makes it more fuel-efficient. Besides being a taxi, it can also be used as a rescue vessel in case of an emergency.
Following is the contact number for hiring the water taxi- 9400050331. The booking is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.