The Ro-Ro vessel has arrived at Gateway of India all the way from Greece. Now, with the arrival of the ship the services between Mumbai and Mandwa will begin soon. According to Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) officials, the commercial services will begin from March.
The new services will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
The vessel operators are seeking clearance permissions from customs and trial runs will also be held simultaneously. Following this, the commercial operations will start, the official added.
About 15 lakh passengers commute annually from Gateway of India to Mandwa waterway in order to travel to Alibaug and other places in Raigad district. To reach Alibaug takes only 1.5 hours via sea as against the cumbersome road travelling of about 3.5 to 4 hours. Hence, the number of passengers availing the water transport has increased in recent times. Considering the huge flow of commuters, the state government had decided to start Ro-Pax ferry service so that people can travel along with their vehicle in the Ro-Pax vessel.
Accordingly, the Ro-Pax jetty and terminal facilities was developed at Ferry Wharf and Mandwa by MbPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) respectively. The infrastructure facilities developed at Mandwa under Ro-Pax Project include- approach jetty, turning platform, floating pontoon and link span assembly mooring Dolphin marshalling yard for 130 vehicles, passenger terminal- 760 sq. m which was completed on May 30, 2018. The expenditure incurred for this project was Rs. 135.29 crores.
MMB has selected Esquire Shipping & Trading Pvt. Ltd. as the operator for Ro-Pax ferry service across Ferry Wharf and Mandwa. The agreement between MMB and Esquire Shipping was signed on December 3, 2019.