Goa planning to introduce solar powered boats

If things work out as planned Goa government will be using solar technology to revive the long navigational routes, and a pilot project envisages a link from Panaji to Aldona, one of the popular route in days of yore.

This would me that the Aldona residents could give up their bumpy bus journeys for a quiet, smoke-free cruise to work, shopping or other tasks in the capital on a solar-driven boat.

Minister for river navigation and his team just got back from Kochi after studying the potential of solar-powered boats for Goa’s inland waterways.

India’s first solar ferry for public transport has been launched in Kerala by NavAlt, a Kochi-based company, earlier this year. The Goan minister has asked for more data, and the firm’s officials may visit the state to study local conditions of strong currents and monsoon weather, since Goan conditions being different as compared to the calm backwaters in Kerala.

With a capacity for 75 passengers, the passenger boat can revolutionize the navigational transport as the operational costs are minimal. At present, RND has to pay a Rs 2.5-crore bill annually to keep the ferry boats running on different routes to link up remote areas. The department can operate the boats itself or through public private participation (PPP) mode. The government intends to charge commuters for this service.

Goa had a tradition of navigational routes from Panaji to Sanvordem, Aldona, Amona and other places.