Solar Boats introduced at Peruvannamuzhi, Kerala

Highlights :

  • The state government has started two solar ferries at Peruvannamuzhi reservoir to promote Sun Cruise culture.
  • Solar powered boats will not just eliminate the consumption of fossil fuels but also help maintain the ecological value of the reservoir and the nearby Wildlife Sanctuary.
Solar Boats introduced at Peruvannamuzhi, Kerala

A ‘sun cruise’ has been introduced at the Peruvannamuzhi ecotourism spot in the Kozhikode district of Kerala. Two solar-powered boats will be seen on the reservoir to promote the culture of cruising among tourists. The inauguration of the boats was done by the state’s Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine.

The solar boats belong to Green Holidays, which will offer pleasure trips. Each trip is expected to cover about a 13 km distance in the reservoir. Green Holidays is a venture of the Chakkittappara Cooperative Bank (CCB).

Many rounds of studies and trials were undertaken by the state’s Irrigation Department before the clearance for the sun-powered boats or sun cruise was accorded. The department has made the sun cruise a part of a larger tourism development plan in the Peruvannamuzhi ecotourism hotspot. The entire development project will be conducted in different phases and will cost about Rs 14 crore.

The state government’s tourism department says that such kinds of eco-friendly services are cost-effective, besides eliminating the threat of water pollution. These solar-powered boats have been introduced after considering the ecological importance of the reservoir and the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, both of which are adjacent to each other.

The width of each sun-powered boat is 3.2 meters. The length is 7 meters and 9 meters for the ten- and twenty- passenger capacities respectively. The energy storage system requires low maintenance and has a long service life as it’s built on a lithium-based system, claims the manufacturer.

According to a report published by the boat-maker, a single boat with a twin outboard petrol engine of about 20 HP requires around 12 litres of fuel to run every hour. The engine consumes 58 litres per day for a four hour operation. Calculating for a year’s operation on this basis, an operator is likely to have to spend about 14.5 lakh on fossil fuel.

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