Two years on, Nerul jetty is yet to be operational | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Two years on, Nerul jetty is yet to be operational

Apr 09, 2024 09:04 AM IST

Nerul Jetty in Navi Mumbai, costing ₹111 crore, remains unused two years after completion. RoRo services delayed due to lack of private operators.

NAVI MUMBAI: More than two years after the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) constructed a jetty at Nerul which was inaugurated by chief minister Eknath Shinde last month, the services connecting Navi Mumbai to Mumbai are, however, yet to start.

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The Nerul Jetty in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, cost 111 crore to construct. The jetty was built in December 2021 to provide water transportation from Mandwa to Nerul and Nerul to the Gateway of India.

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Speaking on why RoRo (Roll On Roll Off) services are being delayed at the jetty, a CIDCO official told HT, “We have called for tenders thrice from private parties to operate the terminal at Nerul jetty. However, there has been no response yet.”

CIDCO had planned to develop the jetty as a tourist spot with water sports and also film shoots being allowed. Those plans too have been materialised yet.

The RoRo services were planned by CIDCO, Bombay Port Trust (MbPT) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) to enable residents to take their vehicles along the water route through the vessels.

The water transport was planned from Nerul to Bhau Cha Dhakka and later to Nerul and Rewas Mandwa. A water terminal has been developed at Bhaucha Dhakka by MbPT. MMB has developed Mandwa in Raigad and CIDCO has developed the Nerul terminal. There are also plans to connect Mandwa to Nerul and Nerul to Gateway of India.

The ferry services to Mumbai from Navi Mumbai were to be run by MMB once the jetty was handed over by CIDCO it. MMB was in talks with BPT, CIDCO and JNPT to buy a vessel for the services. All 4 agencies were to pool in for the purchase. The plans however fell apart and MMB reportedly declined to operate it. CIDCO then decided to operate the services through private participation. It has failed to find any contractor as yet. Till the time of going to press, CIDCO did not respond to the matter.

The Project

The NPWT has been developed as part of the Eastern Waterfront project with passenger boats and catamaran services. The objective is to reduce the stress on roads and railway services and to provide Navi Mumbai citizens an alternative mode of travel to South Mumbai.

CIDCO had in November 2016 called for tenders for the Nerul jetty, which was then awarded for 111 cr and work order issued. The central environment ministry had in November 2017, given the green signal for the construction of a jetty with subsequent environment permissions coming in 2018.

Work on the project began in April 2018 and was to be completed in 24 months. However, there was a delay for clearances from the forest department and then Covid pandemic. It was finally ready by the end of 2021.

The water transport terminal has been developed over piled platform in Panvel creek along with the development of an approach road from Palm Beach marg and all facilities such as approach jetty, turning platform, floating platoon, link span, breathing dolphins, electric panel room, water tanks, sewage treatment plant, navigation area, marshalling area, ticket counter, luggage checking area etc. In addition to this passenger facilities such as waiting lounges, refreshment area, restaurants with kitchen and food counters, Multipurpose Hall, food court, etc. are available within the terminal.

With this environment-friendly transportation, citizens will be able to experience the natural beauty of the coastal stretch while travelling on these boats and catamarans. The approximately 11 nautical mile distance between Bhaucha Dhakka and Nerul will be covered within 30-45 minutes through speed boat and Catamarans. This will save time for the passengers travelling between Navi Mumbai and South Mumbai and further to Alibaug and also reduce the pressure experienced by commuters while travelling by road and rail.

Previous failures

The Belapur jetty constructed by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) was inaugurated in February last year with services from Belapur to Gateway of India. A water taxi service from Belapur to Bhau Cha Dhakka started in 2022 had shut down earlier. High fares have reportedly led to poor response from the passengers. There were also issues of absence of draft in the channel due to lack of dredging to clear the debris from the bottom of the creek to enable free movement of the vessels. This had led to damage of vessels from the underwater rocks.

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