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Why VEGA 120 is a landmark for Kerala

Last year ADITYA solar ferry created a landmark by showing an alternative that is better and cheaper for short voyage routes on water. The boat has in the last 22 months carried 6 lakh passengers, travelled 36,000 km without a single drop of fuel thereby saving 55,000 litres of diesel. This year it is VEGA 120 that is going to create another landmark.

VEGA 120, is ready for inauguration this Sunday (4th Nov) by Finance Minster of Kerala, Sri. Issac Thomas. Accompanying hims would be our Transport Minister, Sri. A.K. Saseendran, Kottayam MP, Sri. Jose K Mani, Vaikom MLA Smt. C.K. Asha, Aroor MLA, Sri. Arif, Water transport  department, Navgathi officials and whole of Vaikom town and nearby areas. VEGA 120 signifies achievements of many landmarks

  1. It is the fastest inland ferry in Kerala with an ability to carry 120 passengers and 5 crew at  speeds of 25 km/hr. That is significantly faster than normal ferries that can travel at 15 km/hr.
  2. It is the first long distance inland ferry in Kerala. Typical ferry boats operate at 5-10 km trip range. VEGA 120 route between Vaikom and Eranakulam, a distance of 35 km. On road by bus it takes 2 hours for this journey. VEGA 120 will make it in 1.5 hours and with added 3 stops, 1 hr 45 mts.
  3. VEGA 120 is the first inland ferry meeting the new rules for passengers ferry over 100 capacity that needs to have fixed fire fighting meeting the requirements of coastal ships. That make the boat more safer in the eventuality of fire.

There is one crucial factor in the design that help the operator. Unlike typical diesel ferries of 120 passengers that would need 500 hp engine to move at 25 km/h, VEGA 120, by using the efficient hull form developed for ADITYA solar ferry, needs only 340 hp engine power. This means that each day the operator can save 200 litres of diesel (40% reduced consumption). This enables water transport department to offer tickets at a rate comparable to bus ticket although it can offer much higher value for the commuters. The ride from Vaikom to Eranakulam and back would be smooth, without traffic block and dust pollution that we associate with roads. The pleasant view on the backwaters would make the journey enjoyable.

What VEGA 120 aim to achieve is to open up the inland transportation on water to shift commuters from bus to boat which would help in decongesting our roads.  As an alternative to the bus,  VEGA 120 ride is faster, more comfortable and cheaper. Why would anyone take the bus?

This model can be scaled up in the same route and more routes can be opened up for commuters travelling to the city daily. Our inland transport as well as road transport is going to change from now!



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