Ferry service launched, you can now travel to Alibaug in 1 hourUpdated: Mar 16, 2020 00:07 IST
In a boost to the city’s water transport system, the roll-on/roll-off, or Ro-Ro, services between Ferry Wharf in Mumbai and Mandwa in Alibaug kicked off on Sunday. The service will help reduce the travel time to Alibaug, four hours by road to cover the 113-km distance, to an hour to cover the 19-km sea route.
M2M Ferries Private Limited (MFPL) along with the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) and Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) will run two services to and from Mandwa every day for a month. The services will start from Mumbai at 6am and 6pm and from Mandwa at 7.45am and 7.45pm. A spokesperson from MFLP said, “With coronavirus outbreak, we will take it slow. We plan to run six trips each day by monsoon.”
The ship, which will operate through the year, can carry 145 vehicles and 500 passengers. The passenger fares for the outdoor deck seating will be ₹225, indoor AC seating for ₹335 and luxury class for ₹555. Cycles will be charged ₹110, motorcycles ₹220. Small cars will be charged ₹880, while medium cars will be charged ₹1,320 and large cars ₹1,760. Mini buses will be charged ₹3,300 while large buses will be charged ₹5,500. However, large buses will be allowed only after a few months.
For safety, the vessel will have 750 life jackets and 1,000 lifeboats.
MFLP is planning to start bus services to pick up and drop commuters from key points such as Churchgate and CSMT stations.
In terms of revenue sharing, MMB will get 10% share per ticket while MbPT will get ₹10 for each ticket and ₹40 for each vehicle.
While Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray was to inaugurate the services from Mandwa on Sunday, the event was cancelled on account of coronavirus outbreak.
Thackeray said, “The service is a milestone in the history of water transportation of Maharashtra. We will also look at the possibilities of similar services at all coastal destinations.”
On Sunday, Union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, who toured the ship, said, “With increasing congestion on roads and overburdened railways in Mumbai, we are taking various initiatives to boost water transport in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Apart from congestion, Ro-Ro service will help reduce pollution too.”
Mandaviya also said the government is looking at 12 such inland waterways routes in MMR. “These will be routes that connect Vasai, Kalyan, Thane and Navi Mumbai,” he said.
Around 20 passengers took the first ride from Mandwa to Mumbai on Sunday.
Kedar Ghate, who was on a vacation to Alibaug with family, said, “Ro-Ro cuts down travel time and is comfortable.” Shraddha Shah, who was travelling along with her friends from Ghatkopar, said, “We went to Alibaug for the weekend. Ro-Ro is very comfortable and we are excited to be the first passengers.”
Some passengers, however, said ticket prices are steep for frequent travel. Surekha Solanki, another passenger, said, “If you travel once in a while, the prices are okay. But for people like us, who take the route regularly, it is expensive.”
By 4pm, 100 passenger tickets and 10 car tickets were sold for the evening service from Mandwa to Mumbai.
On Sunday, Mandaviya said the shipping ministry is taking all the necessary precautions against coronavirus outbreak.
“There has been no positive case identified on ports as we are taking several precautions including separate facilities at hospitals and compulsory screening for all passengers at the port,” the minister said.