The Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), which recorded a profit of nearly ₹1 crore in 2019-20, crossed business of ₹20 crore by the third quarter of the financial year 2020-21, despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 socio-economic conditions, Prasanth N., Managing Director, KSINC, said.
The Kochi-based public sector undertaking focuses on inland water transport, coastal shipping, and tourism. The revenue from Nefertiti, the luxury cruise vessel owned by KSINC, went up from ₹69.84 lakh to ₹2.4 crore in the last fiscal. It could not meet its expected annual revenue owing to lockdown restrictions. Sagararani, a deluxe mini cruise vessel, which offers trips up to the Arabian Sea, is also generating substantial income for the agency.
Mr. Prasanth said with a targeted revenue of ₹50 crore in the current financial year and ₹100 crore for the next, KSINC was fast approaching the completion of various tourist boat and allied construction ventures like Malabar-Malanad River Cruise Circuit (₹4.69 crore), Ashtamudi Lake Circuit (₹2.37 crore), Kumarakom, Changanassery and Kodimatha water sports (all three at ₹83 lakh each). “The boats for the prestigious Malabar-Malanadu River Cruise Circuit will be ready for operation by the first week of February 2021. The construction of high-speed watercraft, a six-seater water taxi, is in the final stages, and it will be operational by the second week of February. Five boats, including a water taxi, two family cruise vessels, and a pair of thematic cruise services, will be operational by the first week of May 2021,” he added.
Thirty-six kayaks were supplied to the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kottayam, and the construction of Shikkara boats is in progress. Their delivery is scheduled for March.
In addition, trials are scheduled for January for jet skis (for Kollam DTPC) and four-seater speed boat for Neyyar Dam (DTPC Thiruvananthapuram). The construction of the 48-seater catamaran boat for Kollam and a 25-seater for Neyyar dam are progressing.
The expansion of the business operations of KSINC to Odisha, Bihar, and Lakshadweep too is making progress after relaxation of lockdown restrictions. Their governments signed agreements with the agency for various projects, including building of vessels to operate in Chilika Lake in Odisha and the Kanika National Park in Bihar. A blueprint of speed boat and house boat for the Chilika Lake has been submitted for approval, Mr. Prasanth said.
The agency is also awaiting government sanction to build a floating boat jetty for the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) at various locations in Ernakulam as a pilot proposal. The agreement process for barges and solar boats for the company is in its last leg.
KSINC, which runs the Fort Kochi-Vypeen roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessel service for the Kochi Corporation, has also inked an agreement with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to run two ro-ro services to carry freight. The re-opening of tourism destinations is expected to boost the patronage for Nefertiti and Sagararani. The number of bookings is going up as days pass by, he said.