CIAL will Help Govt Complete Inland Waterways Project, Says CM


Kochi: State Government will complete the inland waterways project from Kovalam to Kasargod with the help of Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) by 2020, Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Kerala has said. He was speaking at the 23rd annual general meeting of CIAL here on Monday.

“We have already decided to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the development of inland waterways. Both government and CIAL each will hold 49 per cent stake and the remaining 2 per cent will be given to small stakeholders,” said Vijayan, who is also the Chairman of CIAL. He further said the project would boost tourism in the state. “It will give much-needed impetus to the tourism in the state. A number of commercial activities are mooted on the sidelines of the project. Boat jetties, hotels and shopping centres will be constructed. We are also planning to introduce tourism packages. The project will also help in the transportation of people and goods,” said the Chief Minister.

The Government has decided to develop the inland waterways with focus on transportation and high-spending tourists. The plan is to develop ‘River Cruise Tourism’ project on the models of Nile Cruise by developing the 450-km inland waterways from Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram district to Hosdurg in Kasargod district. The idea is to promote the concept of a ‘slow tourism’ where tourists can spend more days to complete the circuit. The proposed waterway will connect 11 districts and there will be facilitation centres every 25 km where tourists can hop off and hop on to enjoy the geo-cultural theme-based art forms, culture and cuisine of respective regions. Premium and non premium boats will be deployed for the navigation of tourists. The waterway project is expected to generate job opportunities for locals.

23rd AGM of CIAL Held

The 23rd annual general meeting (AGM) of CIAL has approved 25 per cent dividend to shareholders. The meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister, who is also the company chairman. CIAL and its subsidiary CIAL Duty Free and Retail Services Limited have generated a total revenue of Rs. 699.09 crore during 2016-17 financial year. CIAL has posted a net profit of Rs. 179.45 crore, up from Rs. 176.02 crore in 2015-16 fiscal. It handled 89,41,198 passengers during 2016-17, an increase of 15.06 per cent.

According to CIAL, the domestic sector alone saw an increase of 25.99 per cent in passenger traffic as compared to last year. With 49.98 lakh passenger movement in the international sector and 39.42 lakh passengers in the domestic sector, CIAL continues to be the only airport in the State which handles more than 5 million passengers a year. The Chief Minister told shareholders that the capacity of solar power plant at CIAL would be increased to 40 mega watts. He also said CIAL has become a major job provider by providing direct employment to 7,500 people and another 10,000 indirectly.

V S Sunil Kumar, Agriculture Minister and CIAL Director; Mathew T Thomas, Water Resources Minister; M A Yusuffali; N V George; E M Babu; K Roy Paul; A K Ramani; V J Kurien, Managing Director, CIAL; Saji K George, Company Secretary; and Sunil Chacko, Chief Financial Officer were present, among others.