8 passenger jetties to connect Bhayandar and Dombivali
Maharashtra Maritime Board has floated tenders for the construction of eight passenger jetties across Mumbai. The project will cost $13m and will be shared by the Centre and the state governments. The project is part of the Centre?s Sagarmala initiative, under the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The ferry services on this route may commence at the end of 2025, according to a senior MMB official.
Mumbai: Five years after the development of an inland waterway connecting Mira-Bhayandar to Dombivali was first approved, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has floated tenders for the construction of eight passenger jetties spread across Bhayandar, Kolshet (Thane), Kalher (Bhiwandi) and Dombivali. The total cost of the project will be ₹96 crore and will be shared by the Centre and the state governments.
The project is part of the Centre’s Sagarmala initiative, under the Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The civil works are expected to be completed within a year and a half of the tenders being awarded to suitable contractors, while the ferry services on this route – which includes the Vasai Creek and Ulhas River – may commence at the end of 2025, according to a senior MMB official.
“The first phase of the development of this channel, National Waterway 53, was initially supposed to have nine jetties, a multimodal interchange, but the scope of the project has been trimmed a little. More infrastructure will be added in phase two depending on the initial response,” the official said, adding that the ferry services will eventually be outsourced to independent concessionaires.
Potential locations where ferry services will ply in the future include Vasai in the west and Kalyan in the east, while Kolshet will be developed as a key interchange point or multi-modal hub. Anjur Dive, Parsik Bunder, Ghodbunder and Nagla Bunder are listed in the detailed project report (DPR) as potential halts en route. “Once operational, the waterway will form part of the larger multi-modal transport network planned along the river. It will link up with the southern part of the land mass to northern Maharashtra and southern Gujarat,” states the DPR.
However, the implementation of the project is not without environmental concerns. The official revealed that considerable dredging of rocks and soil will be required at various locations to deepen the water channel to make way for large ferries, which will also include roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) vessels capable of carrying large vehicles, including trucks. At least ₹424 crore have been allocated for dredging of the water channel.
“About 0.71 million cubic metres of soft and hard material would be dredged for making the 100m wide channel navigable,” the DPR states, adding that the estimated quantity of the dredging can be completed in about 12 to 18 months. “Dredging removes bottom biota and dumping of dredged material covers bottom habitat, both of which may reduce fishery resources,’ states the DPR.
“There is a rock barrier between Kasheli and Mith Bunder in Thane which will have to be removed to allow for the passage of the vessels, but there will be an immense relief to roadways and even suburban trains on the Central Railways as a result of this project,” said the official. Vasai Creek runs for a total of 26 kilometres between the Arabian Sea and the Ulhas River, and ferry services along this route will provide connectivity between Kalwa and Mumbra as well.
Hindustan Times reached out to Amit Saini, CEO, of MMB, but he was unavailable to comment on Wednesday.