Mumbai: Water taxi operators wants gateway of India as halting stop

Saini added that the ridership on route between Belapur and Elephanta caves is going good. In last 15 days, nearly 72 trips have been made due to good footfall.

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Monday, March 07, 2022, 10:36 PM IST
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Mumbai-Navi Mumbai water taxi being inaugurated | File

Mumbai water taxi operators held a meeting with the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) last week and have demanded that considering People's perception it is important to have gateway of India as the halting stop. The Maharashtra government in February started the water taxi services for the new route between Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and Belapur, Navi Mumbai. Similarly, between Belapur and Elephanta caves.

Dr. Amit Saini (IAS) said we are exploring different options and one is the 'gateway of India' halting stop as suggested by water taxi operators. Following which, a request has been put to the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). Besides this, there is also a need to improve last mile connectivity, Identify other halting spot with the MbPT jurisdiction where there are offices and accordingly, the ridership can improve.

Meanwhile, Saini added that the ridership on route between Belapur and Elephanta caves is going good. In last 15 days, nearly 72 trips have been made due to good footfall. Saini said, "Four new water taxi operators have approached us for this route. "Their approvals are at consideration stage. Currently there are total three operators of which two are doing good and one operator has to bring water taxi, he stated.

The MMB has a role to give permits and license to operators. It takes 10 per cent of the revenue made by the operator for it. Meaning, the fare price is Rs 750 therefore, MMB will make Rs 75 out if it, he said.

The MbPT, MMB and CIDCO worked together to develop this project. The Belapur Jetty project was started in January 2019 and was completed by September 2021 at a cost of Rs 8.37 crore. The inland water service has significantly cut down travel time from 1.5 hours to 45 minutes.

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