Mumbai: Inland Passenger Water transport to connect Dombivali-Thane-Bhayandar

Mumbai: Inland Passenger Water transport to connect Dombivali-Thane-Bhayandar

The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has embarked upon the plan to get a total of four jetties constructed at Bhayandar, Kolshet, Kalher and Dombivali.

Ateeq ShaikhUpdated: Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 10:06 PM IST
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Mumbai, Mar. 29: Two years from now, Inland Water Transport to connect distant civic zones of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will be in place. Mira-Bhayandar, Thane, Bhiwandi and Dombivali will be connected initially.

The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has embarked upon the plan to get a total of four jetties constructed at Bhayandar, Kolshet, Kalher and Dombivali.

Water transport to be operated on Vasai Creek – Ulhas River

The passenger water transport will be operated on Vasai Creek – Ulhas River for East – West connectivity, which is crucial given the evolving travel pattern within the MMR as the population and residential areas are expanding within the MMR.

Having the inland passenger water transport has been talked about by the politicians and bureaucracy for over a decade now, 2012, to be precise, but has been moving slow paced due to bureaucratic, financial and political challenges.

The Vasai Creek – Ulhas River water body has been marked as National Waterways 53. The numbering has been done on the similar lines of State Highways and National Highways for better identification and classification.

Jetties at Bhayandar, Kolshet, Kalher and Dombivali 

The jetties at Bhayandar, Kolshet, Kalher and Dombivali will be created at an estimated expense of Rs 96.12 crore. The capital expenditure will be equally borne by the union and state governments under the Sagarmala Scheme.

Once the construction contract is awarded, it will take a year and a half for the facilities to be ready. Thereafter, the state government will have to zero in on passenger ferry or water taxi operators to cater to the commuters, which will happen only during the fag end of the civil construction or once the jetties are ready.

Though there are plans to establish more jetties along National Waterway 53, they will come up only at a later stage. They would include areas of Vasai, Kalyan, Parsik, Naglabunder, Anjur Dive, Ghodbunder/ Gaimukh. Already a jetty is operational at Gaimukh, Ghodbunder and is being utilised to operate a floatel.

Will the transport be popular?

Will the inland passenger water transport become popular among people is something that we will get to know only after a couple of years. However, the water taxi and passenger water transport in place between Belapur and Domestic Cruise Terminal did not draw as many commuters as it was anticipated. Likewise, even the water taxi services between Gateway of India and Belapur got discontinued within the first few days of operation owing to poor passenger numbers. But, the Ro-Pax service between Ferry Wharf and Mandwa as well as the traditional ferry services on the same route as well as between Gateway of India and Mandwa remains popular and continues to draw crowds.

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