Here’s good news for all those who love a nice little ride in the government-owned boats. The Kottayam – Alappuzha boat service, one of the oldest connecting the two districts has resumed after a long five years. The first service was flagged off by Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan MLA on Wednesday.
The boat services between the two districts were disrupted years ago due to the construction of many small bridges in the tributaries of Meenachil river from Kodimatha. Until now the service ended at Kanjiram in the Kottayam – Alappuzha route. There are five small bridges between Kodimatha and Kanjiram, and all except one can be temporarily raised when a boat approaches.
There will be five services between Kottayam and Alappuzha, each with a return trip. The services from Kottayam will be at 6.45 am, 11.30 am, 1 pm, 3.30 pm and 6.15 pm and from Alappuzha to Kottayam will be at 7.30 am, 9.35 am, 11.30 am, 2.30 pm, 5.15 pm and 9.15 pm.
Why were the services disrupted
The service from Kodimatha was disrupted due to the maintenance of the four bridges on the route. Karapuzha Nadankari bridge, 16 il Chira, Parochial, Chungathu 30 Iron bridge and Kanjiram are the bridges in this route. It took five years to complete the works on these bridges owing to various reasons.
What to expect on the ride?
With the services being extended till Kodimatha, the tourists can take a ride from Kottayam to Alappuzha easily. The authorities said that they were expecting a large number of tourists besides the regular passengers in this route. The authorities plan to run extra services between December and March when the tourist season is at its peak. In the previous years boat services used to register an impressive Rs 12000 per day as income during the tourism season. However, it fell to Rs 5000 due to services ending at Kanjiram.
The ticket charge from Kottayam to Alappuzha is Rs 18 and the authorities plan to include 10 more extra services using three boats. An air-conditioned boat too has been allotted in this route and the services will start soon.