Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): To promote eco-friendly waterways transportation and reduce the traffic load of crowded Mumbai city roads, the Ministry of Shipping and Waterways is planning to add Water taxis and roll-on and roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferries services as a part of Mumbai’s public transportation system.
The ministry on April 7, 2021, said that water taxis would be introduced on 12 routes and RoPax ferry services would be launched on four routes by December this year. These services will help reduce traffic congestion on roads.
According to the ministry, the 12 proposed water taxi routes include eight links from the domestic cruise terminal to Nerul, Belapur, Airoli, Vashi, Rewas, Karanja, Dharamtar and Kanhoji Angre Island. The other four routes are Belapur to Thane and Gateway of India, and Vashi to Thane and Gateway of India. The ministry said that three new RoPax services will be from Ferry Wharf to Nerul, Mora and Rewas, and one from Karanja to Rewas.
At present, RoPax service from Bharucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf) to Mandwa (Alibaug) is operational and it has reduced the 110 km road travel to about 18 km by using waterways. By using the RoPax services, people can cover this stretch in just one hour, instead of the earlier 3-4 hours, said the ministry.
After the huge benefits being reaped of this ferry service, similar services are planned to be made operational at various other routes in Mumbai. After the recent success of Hazira to Goga Ropax ferry service in Gujarat, there is an increased focus on this segment of accelerating inland waterway and coastal ferry services to transport passengers and vehicles.
The decision came after shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting on the urban water transportation projects for Mumbai with the chief of Mumbai Port, officials of the Maharashtra Maritime Board and other stakeholders.