CSL Launches Ro-Ro Ferry Vessels in Kochi
Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has launched the first in a series of two double ended Roll-on-Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry vessels being built for the Kochi municipal corporation.
The ferry will ply between Vypin and Fort Cochin carrying 12 cars and 3 trucks or 18 cars besides 50 passengers, enabling movement of lorry/passenger vehicles without entering the city.
The vessels works like a floating bridge, with Ramps at both ends. The most important feature of the vessel is that the vehicles drive in and drive out on first in – first out basis i.e no need to reverse the vehicles during loading of the vessel which drastically reduces loading/ unloading time. Hence special driving skills are not required for vehicle drivers to load the vehicles into the vessels. This would be a great advantage for senior citizens.
Another special feature of the vessel is an Air Conditioned Wheel house for comfort of the operator. The vessel is also designed to withstand deck loading for trucks and heavy vehicles, with heavy duty Ramp and hinged flaps to ensure safe loading and unloading of vehicles. The ferry was designed in-house and was built according to the rules of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), a ship classification society.
The vessel is equipped with azimuth propulsion systems on both ends for easy manoeuvring, allowing the vessel to be operated without the need for turning around at the jetty during cast off, thereby reducing trip times. Two engines of 200 KW rating (1800 RPM) driving two azimuth propellers of 162 KW each also provide redundancy in case of failure of one system.
The vehicles also has a number of inbuilt safety features. Structural tanks are designed to withstand flooding of engine/ thruster compartments ensuring safety of the vessel in case of structural damages in the event of a collision. Bilge safety alarms in all compartments are provided to detect flooding even in closed compartments. Fire alarm systems are provided for engine rooms. Apart from this ,safety tips and alarms of the engine and thruster are displayed in the wheel house and echo sounder is also provided to know the depth of water.
While the double ended ferry is small compared with the bigger vessels that Cochin Shipyard Limited has built and delivered such as the deck cargo launch barge for the National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi and the indigenous aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy which is under construction, the launch of the ferry marks the “entry into the inland water transport sector riding on the back of the government’s efforts to promote cargo and passenger transportation through a vast network of rivers and canals spread across the country”, said Madhu S Nair, chairman and managing director of Cochin Shipyard Limited.
The vessel was launched by Smt. Soumini Jain, Hon’ble Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation at Cochin Shipyard Limited. The Hon’ble Mayor, in her speech stated that the project will give a fillip to the water metro project. Prof. K V Thomas, Member of Parliament, who spoke on the occasion commended Cochin Shipyard for achieving consistently good performance in the last several years. Shri. Madhu S Nair, Chairman and Managing director, CSL, Shri D Paul Ranjan, Director (Finance), CSL, Shri. Suresh Babu N V, Director (Operations), CSL and other senior officials of CSL and Kochi Municipal Corporation also graced the occasion.