Mumbai: To provide smooth connectivity and boost tourism, a water taxi service was launched in Mumbai on Thursday.
The Water Taxi service will connect the twin cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai for the first time. The Water Taxi services will commence from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also connect nearby locations at Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta island and JNPT.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal virtually flagged off Water Taxi from the newly constructed Belapur Jetty. Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray presided over the on-ground function where he inaugurated the newly constructed jetty.
According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Water Taxi services are going to give huge impetus to the tourism sector, especially travel to the historic Elephanta caves from Navi Mumbai. Visitors will be able to travel easily from Navi Mumbai to the Gateway of India.
The newly constructed Belapur jetty, built at a cost of Rs 8.37 crore was funded in the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The new jetty will enable the movement of vessels to locations like Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta and Karanja.
Addressing the event virtually, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Sagarmala Programme has undertaken a range of projects across an array of categories such as port modernization, rail, road, cruise tourism, RORO and passenger jetties, fisheries, coastal infrastructure, skill development. 131 projects worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore has been identified for implementation in Maharashtra.”
The union minister said out of 131, 46 projects worth Rs 2,078 crore being financially supported under the Sagarmala scheme. He said Maharashtra coast has huge potential for urban water transportation which can become an alternate mode of transportation.
“ROPAX movement between Mumbai Ferry Wharf and Mandwa has resulted in a positive impact with a reduction in travel time for passengers, quick and agile loading and unloading process of vehicles. More than 32 projects were undertaken in four clusters – Palghar, Mumbai and Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg,” said Sonowal.
The union minister further said for upliftment of the fishing community, four fishing harbour projects have been sanctioned for funding under Sagarmala. Stage II expansion of Mirkawada Fishing Harbour in Ratnagiri District has been completed. Further, modernization of Sassoon Dock and development of Karanja in Raigad and Anandwadi in Sindhudurg district are under implementation.
The proposal for modernisation of Mallet Bunder in Mumbai is under active consideration.