Mumbai: The much-awaited Mumbai to Mandwa Ro-Ro service to begin from August 20 for the public ahead of Ganeshotsav.
Devika Saigal co-owner of the Ro-pax ship operating agency M2M ferries, told the Free Press Journal, "Due to COVID, we have restricted the limit of passengers and number of vehicles travelling per trip. For instance, the Ro-Pax will carry only 500 passengers and 150 vehicles at a time though it has 1,000 passengers capacity. Moreover, the passengers can use all six sections in the ship. This will ensure social distancing is maintained. We are offering introductory fares where commuters can sit at any six sections. Besides this, temperature checks will be done and all guidelines issued by the Mumbai Port Trust and Maritime Board will be followed."
The Ro-Ro service was expected to begin operations in March but due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus that induced lockdown suspending all public transportation services, the newly launched water transport could not commence service for the public. However, now as several people of Raigad and Konkan belt would be visiting their villages during Ganeshotsav, the start of Ro-Ro service is believed to provide a major relief. As the bookings have been started from August 17, on the first day itself the operator has received 200 bookings. The bookings have been opened for August 20 till August 30 and every day, the ship will operate two services – one from Mumbai to Mandwa in the morning and the other in the evening from Mandwa to Mumbai, informed Saigal.
The travel time from Mumbai to Mandwa is of 50 to 60 minutes. Interestingly, the Ro-pax operators are also providing paid cafeteria service for passengers on board.