Planning a trip from Mumbai to Goa? Your vacation could start at the city itself, as the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) plans to start a ferry service to the popular holiday destination by 2016- end.
“We will invite tenders this month and the terminal will be constructed in the next 15 months,” said Ravi Parmar, MbPT chairman.
“We plan to use catamarans and Ro-Ro vessels that can carry up to 60 cars and 300 passengers,” Parmar added.
This is the third attempt to start a ferry service — ferries used to run between Mumbai and Goa till the early ’90s.
After it was discontinued for various reasons, another attempt was made to restart the service, which also never took off from paper.
The new ferry service now proposed will run between Ferry Wharf in Mumbai and Mormugao in Goa, Parmar said.
Private firms will operate the service, which will make two or three trips a day.
They will also procure the catamarans and Ro-Ro vessels.
Other landmarks on the Konkan coast could get such a service if the response from commuters is good, Parmar said. “The number of services will be increased depending on the demand we get,” he said.
The water terminal is being planned next to the existing Ferry Wharf and will be large enough to hold up to eight catamarans and four Ro-Ro vessels.
The water terminal will also be used for the inland water transport project planned on the city’s eastern waterfront (see box).
There will be two more terminals at Nerul and Mandwa.
The ferry could help ease the burden on the railways and give people an alternate route to reach places on the western coast, transport experts said.
“At present, the Konkan Railway is burdened, and the road network in the western coast is not strong. The authorities need to boost a water transport sytem that can provide people living along the western coast another travel option,” said AV Shenoy.