Ever imagined travelling on a boat that also goes on roads, here in God’s Own Country? The Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) is mulling over the concept and hopes to put it on paper if the project is feasible.
Also known as the Yellow Duck Marine Boat in the United Kingdom, the boat-cum-car got its name owing to its special land-and- water characteristics.
According to KSWTD managing director Shaji V Nair, the idea was first mooted to be proposed at the ‘Emerging Kerala’ investors’ meet.
However, since the concept did not reach any level of discussion, the project failed to receive any favour from state government officials.
“Since such boats are only available in developed countries like the UK, we thought it would be feasible if a private company takes over the project and implements it here. Therefore, we suggested the idea to be presented during the meet.However, since the idea never came up at ‘Emerging Kerala’, we are mulling to implement the project ourselves,” he said. The vehicle, which goes on wheels on the road, will retract its wheels and function as a boat on water. The project, which is hardly in the initial phase, will however be submitted to KITCO for a feasibility study.
Acquiring the Yellow Duck (the concept which came into existence during World War II) will be costly. However, it is plausible, and if implemented, Kerala will be the first state in the country to possess the vehicle. Regarding the possible areas where the Yellow Duck can be used, Shaji V Nair said that places like Panavally, in Cherthala, and Kumarakom will be the ideal locations where the Yellow Duck can come in handy.
“It can be used for both tourist pleasure as well as a mode of transport. In London, the Yellow Duck is used for leisure. However, here it will be extremely useful in those areas where connection to dry-land is difficult,” said another official with the KSWTD.
The KSWTD had also planned to propose the concept of floating restaurants at the ‘Emerging Kerala’ event. “It can be a lively experience. However, considering the impracticality of operating the floating restaurants, nothing can be said as of now,” the MD said.