By Our Correspondent
MUMBAI: Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) visited ROPAX service at Bhaucha Dhakka on Monday in Maharashtra. Mandaviya also visited ROPAX terminal and inspected the facilities created for the passengers as the ROPAX Service from Bhaucha Dhakka to Mandwa commences today.
Mandaviya reiterated the importance of Waterways as a mode of transportation and said that it has opened new avenues for the people to travel with reduced journey time and it will prove as a catalyst for the local economy.
ROPAX service is a ‘Water Transport Service Project’, under Eastern Waterfront Development. The benefits of this service include reduction in the travel time, vehicular emission and traffic on the road. The road distance from Mumbai to Mandwa is about 110 kilometres, and gruelling road journey takes three to four hours, whereas by waterway it is about 18 kilometre and journey of just an hour.
Currently, about 15 lakh passengers commute annually by catamarans and launches from Gateway of India to Mandwa. There is an exponential increase in the number of tourists and commuters in this stretch. Mumbai Port Trust and Maharashtra Maritime Board recognised the importance of this waterway, and with Government support decided to start ROPAX service from Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf), i.e. Mumbai to Mandwa.
Mumbai Port Trust has developed ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf) at the cost of Rs 31 Crores. Maharashtra Maritime Board has developed Breakwater, ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Mandwa at the cost of Rs 135 Crores.
ROPAX Vessel M2M -1 was built in Greece in September 2019. This Vessel is highly manoeuvrable and has a speed of 14knots, and will complete one way trip in about 45 minutes to an hour.
The features of this Vessel is that it can carry 200 cars and 1000 passengers at a time and has a ramp on both sides, hence cars can move in and out of the vessel easily and reduce the turn- around time. Thus, people can now travel in their cars directly on to ROPAX vessel. Vessel is capable of operating even in Monsoon season, which is a big boon to commuters from Alibag area.
ROPAX service will help in reducing road traffic from Mumbai to Alibag/Goa to a certain extent, as travellers will certainly prefer a peaceful, novel and time saving journey. This will also reduce fuel consumption and vehicular emission, a step towards reducing Carbon Footprint.