If everything goes as planned, the city will soon see the famous sightseeing ‘Duck’ bus roaring past vehicles on roads and the very next moment leaving a wake in the sea. On the lines of popular London Duck tour, state tourism authorities plan to start the amphibian bus service for tourists to diversify their perspective of the city.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) said the craft is likely to hit the roads by October and believed that such land-to-water tours will attract more tourists to the city. Amphibian vehicles, which double as a bus on roads and a boat, are famous in Western countries.
The bus will start from CST station area and then pass by various landmarks and tourist attractions in South Mumbai before taking plunge in the sea, probably at Girgaum Chowpatty.
The department will launch this service with one bus. Later depending on response, the project will be expanded. The Duck service will be roughly two-hour long, including 30 minutes in the sea.
The MTDC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which will incur cost of procurement of amphibian craft. The vehicle is expected to cost around Rs2-3 crores.
Satish Soni, joint managing director of MTDC, said “JNPT will purchase the craft and MTDC will operate the service. The plan is at very initial stage. We are working on modalities such as fare, route. However, we are planning to use Chowpatty to take the amphibian bus in the sea.”
Soni added that MTDC was in process to apply for clearance from Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) as Chowpatty falls under Coastal Regulation Zone.