- Kerala’ State Water Transport Department (SWTD) has decided to launch India’s first premier solar-powered cruise boat in Alappuzha by December 2019.
- The cruise boat will be powered by a motor that can source energy from solar panels, battery, and generator. Its battery will have 80 KWh (kilowatt hour) power backup.
- It will be able to carry 100 passengers. The vessel will have an air-conditioned lower deck and pushback seats. The upper deck, which is non-air conditioned, can be used for dining and to get a better view of the backwaters.
- Kerala had launched India’s first solar-powered ferry, named Aditya, in 2016. It operates between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu, connecting Kottayam and Alappuzha districts of Kerala. Aditya is also the largest solar-powered boat in India with 75 seats capacity.
- It was built with the financial aid in the form of subsidy from the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy by the Kerala State Water Transport Department.
- Conventional ferries releases huge amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Further, the oil spill from such boats is harmful to aquatic ecosystem and to the water body.
- However, solar ferry boats neither create pollution in atmosphere nor aquatic environment. Further, noise pollution is not created.
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