Prime Minister Modi will start water taxi service from Mumbai in January
In the first week of January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the much awaited water taxi service from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, official sources said.
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The Prime Minister will also inaugurate the Chemical Terminal at Mumbai Port Trust, which has been operational since October, and will inaugurate the second chemical terminal at the port.
Water taxis were planned three decades ago to reduce travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. This has been taken seriously in the last few years as part of the Centre’s inland waterways initiative.
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One central and two state agencies, Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Maritime Board and CIDCO, worked together on the project.
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MbPT has built a domestic cruise terminal at Ferry Wharf in Mumbai and CIDCO is giving final touches to the terminals at Belapur and Nerul in Navi Mumbai.
The water taxi will carry passengers between Mumbai and two Navi Mumbai jetties, with a stop at JNPT. The second service will run from Mumbai to Rewas in Raigad district. However, this fare is not for daily commuters.
This service has been outsourced to a private operator. The fare will be generally calculated at Rs 45 per minute per passenger. The fare from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai is Rs. It is expected to be between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500. 750, said Sohail Kazani of Infinity Harbor Services LLP.
The company plans to operate 330 days a year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This service will be closed during the rainy season. “At present we have four ships, one 50-seat, 40-seat, 32-seat and 14-seat. Everyone can travel at a speed of 25 knots. The government has given us routes from 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, ”said Kazani. Jetties are yet to be constructed at Vashi and Airoli.
“Our boats will take less than 30 minutes from DCT to Navi Mumbai, while taxis will take 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes,” said Kazani.
For last mile connectivity for passengers, Kazani said there would be pool cabs at various places like Churchgate, CST, Nariman Point, Gateway of India, DCT, Dockyard, Belapur, Nerul and JNPT. They will charge a nominal fare of Rs 20 to 30 per passenger on a share-a-cab basis. Tickets are to be booked online at watertaximumbai.com and seats have to be booked one day in advance.
The metropolis formerly had a hovercraft service connecting Gateway of India with Navi Mumbai and Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu.
Ashim Mongia of West Coast Marine, who is also licensed to operate the service, said: We have three ships and can carry 12 to 20 people. For Mumbai JNPT, we will charge Rs 800 per person and it will take 20 minutes from DCT and for Mumbai Belapur, we will charge Rs 1,100 per passenger and it will take 35 minutes. We have applied for a license to walk on DCT Nerul route. The journey will take 30 minutes and we will charge Rs. 1,000 per passenger. ” A senior MbPT official said another operator had a catamaran but would return to service in three months.
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