Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be introducing the ‘Ropax’ ferry service on November 8, for the state of Gujarat between Ghogha in Bhavnagar to Hazira in Surat. This ferry service will cut down the long 370-km long road journey to 60-km sea route, said Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday.
While addressing the reporters, Mandaviya revealed about PM Modi commencing the service between Saurashtra and South Gujarat, in a virtual mode on November 8 at 11 am. Mandaviya further said Modi will inaugurate similar services in other parts of India as well. He said, “A terminal has been constructed at Hazira, and all preparations are completed. The service will begin on November 8, and booking of tickets will start from tomorrow.”
Mandaviya further revealed the details about the ‘Ropax’ service. He said the ferry can hold 550 people along with 30 trucks, 7 smaller trucks and also 100 two-wheelers in one round. Also, the ferry will operate in every weather, during all the twelve months of the year.
The union Minister of State for Shipping stated, “The coast of Saurashtra is full of potential. There are a number of cement, steel and ship breaking industries, with markets in south India. Through sea connectivity, distance and time can be saved, and such a service will play a big role in industrial development.”
He said this move will cut down on road accidents, railway congestion and also control pollution.
He further added, “We have identified, mapped and studied the potential of destinations across the 7500 km Indian sea coast and are going to start similar services on many destinations across the country.”
Regarding launching the services in other states, Mandaviya said, “On November 8, Modiji will also launch similar services in Kochi (in Kerala), one on the Brahmaputra river in Assam, and one joining the North East to Kolkata. A service connecting Karimganj in Assam over the Barak river to Bangladesh will also be launched.”
Earlier in 2017, a ferry service named ‘Ro-Ro’ was launched between Gogha and Dahej in Bharuch, which was stopped due to siltation and unavailability of required draft to hold and transport the vessel. About Ro-Ro services, Mandviya said, “We cannot run Ro-Ro service between Dahej and Ghogha as there isn’t adequate draft, and de-siltation is not financially feasible…we will run small vessels between Ghogha and Dahej that require limited draft.”
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