15 Solar Boats To Sail On Alappuzha Backwaters In Kerala

Highlights :

  • The plan is part of the plan of the state government to convert 50 per cent of the conventionally run boats to solar boats.
  • These boats will be much lighter as compared to conventionally run boats as they will be built with fibre.
15 Solar Boats To Sail On Alappuzha Backwaters In Kerala

Just as solar-powered boats made their way into the Chilika Lake in Odisha on the eastern Indian coast, some western states now want to jump onto the bandwagon too. The latest development has come from Kerala, known for its numerous backwaters. 

The Kerala Water Transport Department has planned to introduce electric boats in its backwaters. These solar boats would be fuelled by solar power. The move will likely pave the way for the decarbonization of the boats and help protect the local aquatic ecosystem.  

The state government has planned to convert 50 percent of the total boats into solar boats. At first, 15 solar boats would be deployed. The first solar boat trench is expected to sail the backwaters of Kerala in Alappuzha in the first week of July 2023 under the plan.  

These 15 electric boats powered by solar panels would come in different capacities of passenger intake: 30, 75, and 100. The solar boats will be single fiber-built catamarans. The cost is expected to be pegged at approximately Rs 2.5 crore. As these solar boats would be built with fiber, these boats are expected to be will be much lighter. 

These boats, run on solar power, will be built on the yards of Pattanakad and Panavally. The government has already tasted success with solar-powered electric boats running along the Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu route. These boats will be the first to enter the Muhamma to Maniyamparambu route.

A conventional boat consumes fuels worth Rs 10,000 per day for its voyages. In comparison, a solar boat powered by solar energy will need expenses of a mere Rs 350, signifying huge profits. The Kerala government has already witnessed the benefits of ‘Aditya’- the first solar-powered boat in India that helped Kerala save 58,450 litres of fuel in two years of its services which tendered a profit of Rs 41 lakhs.

List of Recently Launched Solar Boats/Ferries

  • The Ayodhya Development Authority (ADA) plans to deploy ten solar ferries that will help tourism in the city and take pilgrims on local voyages.
  • The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has a deal with the Muziris Heritage Project Ltd. to use its solar boats for the tours in the Kochi-Muziris heritage tourism circuit.
  • A sun cruise has been introduced at the Peruvannamuzhi ecotourism spot in Kozhikode, Kerala.

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