Local bridge collapses: Kerala man builds tiny boat to get home

Collapsing bridges in India is not a new phenomenon. We have seen it happen multiple times and even bridges under construction have collapsed. A man from Kerala faced a similar situation when a bridge connecting his home collapsed. Kumarakom Pongalakari decided to build a boat to cross the water body.

62-year-old Kumarakom Pongalakari Kappadachira Jose built the three-seater motorboat all by himself. Jose spent his own Rs 1 lakh to make the boat that now ferries a lot of people in the village.

Jose is a carpenter and knows how to build a boat. After looking at the difficulties of about 130 families that stay in the village, Jose wanted to buy a boat and got to know that it can cost several lakhs. He then decided to make the boat by himself.

Jose used plywood to make the floor and body of the boat. He has also attached a new motor and steering to the motorboat. It became successful and Jose uses the same boat to roam around the water channels.

It took him about four months to make the boat. Even though he faced financial difficulties, he did not stop working and eventually come out with the finished product.

According to Jose, a lot of locals have come and asked him if he wanted to sell the boat. However, he refused. Instead, he is taking advance payments to make similar boats for the villagers.

How did the bridge collapse?

Local bridge collapses: Kerala man builds tiny boat to get home

There is no information on the age of the bridge. However, according to the information available, the bridge collapsed after getting rust. The structure weakened over the years and finally fell down. It was not safe for the locals to use the bridge for many years now. The government is yet to address the problems. That is why the locals have started looking for better ideas.

The news of the locals using a handmade boat has become viral on the Internet. Even the neighbours visit Jose to congratulate him and ask him for ideas on making a new boat.

Many handmade cars

While there are many handmade cars and motorcycles in India, we think that this is the first incident of someone making a boat by himself. There are many talented people who have made replica cars, and even miniature versions of original replicas. We have already seen cars like VW Beetle, Jeeps and others. However, these vehicles are not road-legal. There are not as many constraints on the waterways like the roadways in India.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)