Kochi: RoRo passengers want Corp to manage service

Kochi: Charging the Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) with mismanagement of operations of the Roll-On Roll-Off Jhankars in the Vypeen-Fort Kochi section, regular passengers have demanded direct operation of services by the Kochi Corporation.

“The KSINC is issuing printed tickets in violation of the direction by the Kochi Corporation to issue only e-tickets. The same is for showing decreased revenue collection,” said Francis Chammany, president of Vypeen-Fort Kochi Ferry passengers Association.

He alleged that the same is for not handing over the additional revenue collection to the Kochi Corporation during the Onam festive season.

“Also the KSINC is yet to conduct full-fledged operation of the RoRo services despite over a year of launching them. The corporation should avoid the middleman and directly operate the services,” he said.

The Kochi Corporation is yet to sign a pact with the KSINC over operation of Roll-On Roll-Off jhankars even a year after rolling out of the two vessels.

The reason for this being opposition of the KSINC to three additional clauses put forth by the Corporation to be included in initial agreement.

The KSINC recently shot off a letter stating that additional conditions are “unacceptable” and that the pact should be based on original terms of conditions.

One of the three conditions is that the KSINC should pay a fine of `7,500 per hour in case of trip cancellation. Another condition is opening of a Joint Account from which the expenditures should be met.

As per the initial agreement drafted, the KSINC will be entrusted with Ro-Ro operations for a period of two years from Date of Memorandum of Understanding or the Date of forming a Special Purpose Vehicle. The contract period can be extended with mutual concern.

“Only one Ro-Ro vessel is deployed from morning to evening while the other is operated for a few hours in the evening. This has resulted in long queues at both jetties. The modern vessels were deployed after withdrawing two Jhankars a year ago,” Francis Chammany said.

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