The date, as to when the long-awaited water taxi service from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai will start is yet to be announced by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) officials.
Earlier, it was decided that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would inaugurate the service during his visit in January, however, this could not happen due to the surge in COVID cases in the state.
According to reports from The Indian Express, the MbPT is planning to request Union Shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal to inaugurate the service.
A senior MbPT officer told IE that Sonowal orally agreed to flag off the services by the second week of February, however, they have not received a written communication yet, regarding the same.
Maharashtra Port Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the Port Trust will inform them in a couple of days, as to when the inauguration is expected to take place.
The water taxi service will considerably reduce commute time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Water taxi route
The water taxi will operate between Mumbai and the two Navi Mumbai jetties, and will include a stop at JNPT. A separate service will go between Mumbai and Rewas in Raigad district.
Other routes include International Cruise Terminal to Elephanta, Domestic Cruise Terminal to Rewas, Karanjade, Dharamtar, Domestic Cruise Terminal to Belapur, Nerul, Vashi and Airoli and DCT to Khanderi islands and JNPT.
Time and frequency
Sohel Kazani of Infinity Harbour Services LLP, who is one of the operators told the Indian Express that the water taxis plans to operate 330 days a year, between 8 am to 8 pm.
According to the operators, the ferry will take around 30-minutes from Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) at Ferry Wharf to Navi Mumbai and 15 to 20 minutes from DCT to JNPT.
How much is the fare expected to be?
According to the report, the fare will roughly be calculated at Rs 45 per minute per passenger.
The fare from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai is likely to be between Rs 1,200 and 1,500 per passenger, while the fare to JNPT is likely to be Rs 750.