Mumbai Port Trust to develop city’s international cruise terminal
Government aims to increase cruise-liner traffic to India to 700 vessels a year. To start with, five ports, including Mumbai, will be developed as hubsmumbai Updated: Jan 11, 2018 15:18 IST
Union minister for transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday laid the foundation stone for an international cruise terminal at Ballard Pier, Mumbai.
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) will handle the modernization and expansion of the terminal. At an estimated cost of Rs197 crore, the revamp is aimed to transform Mumbai into an international cruise destination. The new terminal will have all facilities that passengers get at the airports, MbPT officials said.
According to the cruise tourism roadmap prepared by M/s.Bermelo & Ajamil and Ernst & Young, close to 4 million passengers are expected to visit India in the coming years, and 3 million passengers are expected to take cruises from the Mumbai Port.
Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, MbPT, said, “The project will be undertaken in two phases, wherein by the end of this year, we will be able to cater to two lakh passengers. Post the completion by the end of 2019, the new terminal will cater to more than seven lakh passengers, with facilities on a par with international standards.”
The facilities will include shopping areas, hotels and separate lounges for arrival and departure.
Bhatia said that once the project is completed, the operation and maintenance will be carried out on a public-private partnership model. “We will issue tenders for it in a month,” Bhatia said.
In 2016-17, the Mumbai Port got around 55 cruise ships carrying about 60,000 passengers.
Terming the cruise policy as India’s economic growth engine, the government aims to increase the cruise liner traffic to India 10-fold to 700 vessels a year. To start with, five ports—Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Kochi—will be developed as cruise hubs.