The German-government backed water-transport project in Kochi has finally started moving forward. The work tenders for terminals are likely to be awarded by the Christmas week and the Rs 819-crore Water Metro project is slated to go live in December next year. The Water Metro is an integrated water-transport project connecting 10 islands near Kochi city, spread across 76 km. About 1 lakh islanders are counted as direct beneficiaries. "German ambassador Martin Ney has taken a detailed call on the progress of the project and expressed satisfaction on the plans ahead. What buoyed him was that we are going for battery-driven 100-seater boats, which represents the latest and best eco-friendly technology," Mohammed Hanish, managing director, Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) told FE. The German ambassador has also offered a massive aid package to support the rebuilding of Kerala's flood-devastated infrastructure. This will be through German development bank KfW. "Any new infrastructure has to be disaster-resistant,\u201d Ney said. The German government-run KfW Bank has committed to part-fund this one-of-its-kind water transport project, by pitching in Rs 582 crore. The general consultants for the project are Aecom Consortium (a joint venture of Aecom India, Urban Mass Transit Company and Zebec Marine Consultants Service). Netherlands-based Damen, UAE-based Grand Weld, Larsen and Toubro and Cochin Shipyard are in the shortlist for supplying the boats. The boat-supply tender will be finalised by February, Hanish said. Also read: Raghuram Rajan\u2019s veiled attack on Modi govt! India not creating enough jobs; no improvement in fisc The Kochi Water Metro was initially scheduled to go live on April 2019. However, after delay in land acquisition for the terminals and in calling for tenders, the project has finally started moving forward. By the latest schedule, the first commercial boat service from Water Metro is slated to set out within a year.