Kochi: The Kerala state
government will take up with the Centre the objections raised by
the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) about a regular ferry
service between Kochi and some destinations in the Gulf region.
Minister for NORKA M M Hassan said the shipping services between
Kochi and the Gulf are in a state of uncertainty after MMD
insisted on proper facilities for travelers.
According to the department, any passenger ship sailing
continuously for more than 72 hours should provide bunker
facilities to the passengers. MMD officials said it would not be
possible for the department to make an exception for just one
Nevertheless, the current vessel operating on the Kochi-Gulf route
has not been able to meet this requirement of the rules.
Chief executive of the Royal Group of Companies Tissin Thachankary
said there are only 730 bunkers in the ship that they were
operating. The others are deck seats and Pullman seats.
A passenger has to pay just Rs 5,300 to and fro with 200 kg
luggage if he opts for a deck seat. But a Pullman seat is only
available for over Rs 8,000 plus 200 kg of luggage to and fro.
Thachankary said no passenger had so far made any complaints about
The minister said he is all for resolving the issue. I will
take up the issue with the director general of shipping and the
department of shipping.
The Cochin Port Trusts project of setting up a full-fledged
facility for passenger ferries at the cost of Rs 25 crore is not
currently viable, he said.