A roll on-roll off (Roro)-cum-passenger ferry service, between Mumbai and Mandwa near Alibaug, was launched on Sunday in the presence of Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya and Maharashtra port and maritime board officials.
The launch ceremony was a low-key one due to state government restrictions on such mass gatherings in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
The vessel, built in Greece, can carry 145 cars and 500 passengers, and is capable of plying even during monsoon, officials added.
''It can reach speeds of 14 knots and will complete the 18-kilometer sea journey in 45 minutes to one hour. The road distance between Mumbai and Mandwa is 110 kilometres and can take anything between three to four hours,'' an official said.
The 'Roro' services will leave Mumbai port at 6.30 am and reach Mandwa and return from there at 7.45 am. The second service of the day will be in the evening when the vessel will leave Mumbai port at 6 pm and return at 7.45 pm.
The frequency of the services will be increased when the demand picks up after March.
In a message, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the new service would be a milestone for the state, and informed that a similar the facility was planned between Nerul and Belapur in Navi Mumbai, as well as Bhayander and Dombivali, the latter expected to start in two years after getting the final nod.
Water transport will boost tourism and employment, Thackeray said.
The ticket price for passengers travelling on the ferry ranges from Rs 225 to Rs 335. Passengers paying Rs 222 will have to stand out in the sun, while those with expensive tickets can get air-conditioned lounge with entertainment.
A Mumbai Port Trust release said around 15 lakh people travel annually on catamarans and boats from Gateway of India and Mandwa and the new service will help them make the journey in eco-friendly comfort.
The pricing of vehicular transportation will also be range from Rs 800 to Rs 1600, depending on the size of the car.
Ticketing counters would be set up at Bhaucha Dhakka as well at Mandwa Jetty.
The schedule of the service can be checked on its official website. Interested passengers can also make payments here.
Read the original article: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/roro-ferry-service-between-mumbai-mandwa-launched-1655778-2020-03-15