Mumbai: The newly launched RO-RO service started between Ferry Wharf, Mumbai, and Mandwa, Raigad, from March 15 was shadowed with dark clouds due to the outbreak of coronavirus, said an official, who did not wish to be named.
The state government has already restricted gathering at public places, including beaches. As the ferry service is supposed to be used by travellers visiting Alibaug, popular for its beaches, and as there is already restriction imposed, the expected crowd using this service, as of now, is less, added the official.
Following this, passengers taking the Ro-Ro service are being offered a concession in tickets like Rs 300 for passengers to be seated in the outer deck, indoor air-conditioned deck, and VIP lounge, and Rs 800 for a car (irrespective of the size). For motorcycles and bicycles, it is Rs 200 and Rs 100, respectively.
The actual rates will be applicable once the services start running in full force. The actual ticket rates are divided into different categories like outer deck will be charged Rs 225, indoor AC lounge will be Rs 335, and the VIP lounge will be Rs 555 per person.
Similarly, for vehicles, there are different rates fixed: for small size vehicles Rs 880 will be charged, for medium-size vehicles Rs 1,320, for large vehicles Rs 1,760, for motorbikes Rs 120, cycles Rs 110, mini-buses Rs 3,300 and regular size buses Rs 5,500.
These fares are applicable for the one way trip only. While the facility to carry bus carrying passengers in the Ro-Ro vessel will be allowed after the passing of a few months.
The tickets can be purchased from the ticketing counters at Ferry Wharf, Mumbai, and Mandwa Jetty, Alibaug. While the website for online bookings will be operational from March 20, according to m2mferries, which is operating the Ro-Ro service.
Contradicting the claims made, the official spokesperson from m2mferries has stated that to ensure the safety of people, only one round trip in a day is being allowed. The booking is full and the ferry is running according to the bookings received.
Moreover, the capacity has been limited to a maximum 100 passengers for the same reason. Ro-Pax vessel M2M-1 has the capability of carrying 500 passengers and up to 145 vehicles per trip. "However, only 100 passengers are being allowed, so a safe distance of more than one metre can be maintained between co-passengers," as per the official statement released.
Moreover, the ferry is cleaned every day and temperature checks of staff and passengers as well as sanitisation of exposed surfaces at regular intervals is being undertaken, said the spokesperson.
If a traveller takes the road to reach Mandwa, they have to drive 111-km, which takes about five hours, or alternatively can opt for a ferry/catamaran journey or a speedbo at ride.
Of these, the ferry and speedbo at journeys come to a complete halt from the months of May to October during the monsoon season, adding to commuter woes. Meanwhile, the M2M-1 Ropax Ferry will be operational throughout the year, without any halt in services during the monsoon, offering much-needed relief to the 20 lakh passengers who travel between Gateway of India in Mumbai and Mandwa, Alibaug, in the current period of 9 months of ferry service.
Current concession on fare:
Passengers to be seated in the outer deck, indoor ac lounge, VIP lounge Rs 300Rs 800 for a car (irrespective of the size). Motorcycles Rs 200 bicycles Rs 100
Actual fares will be applicable once Ro-Ro service runs in full flow:
Passengers to be seated in the outer deck -- Rs 225, Indoor AC lounge--- Rs 335, VIP lounge per--Rs 555. Small size vehicle Rs 880 Medium-size vehicle Rs 1,320 Large vehicle Rs 1,760Motorbike Rs 120 Cycle Rs 110 Mini-bus Rs 3,300 Bus Rs 5,500