Twenty-seven years after it was formulated, the Water Transport Project has finally got some impetus. The Maharshtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has floated tenders for the Nariman Point-Borivli ferry service.
“Once we finalise the tenders we expect the project to be completed in two years,” MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage said.
If the project takes off without any hiccups, by January 2015, commuters would be able to hop on board a catamaran at Borivli and land at Nariman Point.
The fare for the journey is expected to be between Rs200 and Rs250.
The MSRDC had floated tenders for the same project twice earlier. But on both occasions, doubts over the ability of private companies to undertake the project saw the proposals fizzle out.
This time, the MSRDC has decided to limit the role of private companies.
It will now spend Rs753.44 crore from its own pocket to create passenger terminals at six locations — Borivli, Marve, Versova, Juhu, Bandra and Nariman Point.
The MSRDC has floated a tender for construction of these terminals.
It has also floated a separate tender for the operation of service.
The successful bidder will have to procure hovercrafts and catamarans and operate them.
The Maharshtra State Road Development Corporation is looking at deploying a total of 39 vessels including 11 hovercrafts and 28 catamarans.
Once completed, the project is expected to serve close to 80,000 passengers every day. Nage said the vessels would run at a frequency of 15 minutes during peak hours and 30 minutes during non-peak hours.