Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping inaugurated a roll on-roll off-cum-passenger ferry service, also called ‘Ropax’, between Mumbai and Mandwa near Alibaug. State port and maritime board officials were also present at the occasion.
The inauguration ceremony was low-key due to the restrictions implemented by the State Government on mass gatherings in a view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Ropax has a capacity to carry 200 cars and 1,000 passengers. It is also capable of plying even during the monsoon season. The vessel was built in Greece.
As per an official, “It can reach a speed of 14 knots and will complete the 18-km sea journey in 45 minutes to one hour. The distance between Mumbai and Mandwa, by road, is 110 km and can take between three and four hours.”
The cost of building the jetty facilities at Ferry Wharf at a cost of Rs 31 crore and was built by the Mumbai Port Trust, whereas, the Maharashtra Maritime Board built the Ropax jetty and terminal at Mandwa at a cost of Rs 135 crore, the officials added.
Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra said that the new service would be a milestone for the State. Also, a similar facility has been planned to operate between Nerul and Belapur in Navi Mumbai, as well as Bhayander and Dombivali, with the latter expected to start in two years after getting the final approval. The CM added, the new water transport will help in increasing tourism and generate employment opportunities.