Maharashtra mulling passenger transport to Goa from 3 Mumbai jetties

Mumbai: If the Maharashtra government's move to revive passenger water transport goes as per plan, tourists will soon be able to use roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) services at three jetties in Mumbai to reach Goa without getting stuck in highway traffic jams.

The state government is considering upgrading facilities at the existing jetties at Mandwa, Nerul and Ferry Wharf. A meeting of Infrastructure Sub-committee will be held on November 23 in this regard and will be chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

There are major three issues on the agenda of the meeting -- strengthening existing jetties, Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway and Mumbai-Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

According to Pravin Darade, Secretary to the Chief Minister, the agenda of the meeting is yet to finalised, but the three issues are likely to come up. Darade said that Mumbai-Nagpur super communication highway has already received an in-principal approval of the state Cabinet.

"It will be confirmed in the Infrastructure Sub-committee meeting," he said.

The estimated cost of the proposed greenfield highway is Rs 30,000 crore.

An official of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said that if the government considers the option of widening the existing highway, land acquisition would could become a hurdle in completing the work.

"Instead of widening, it will be easier to construct a new way," he said.

According to the official, a bypass to the city will be an option while constructing the super communication way. Meanwhile, the proposal of passenger water transport will consist of upgrading facilities at the existing Mandwa, Nerul and Ferry Wharf jetties to give a boost to the project.

Ferry Wharf comes under Bombay Port Trust (BPT), Mandwa is under the jurisdiction of Maritime Board and Nerul Jetty comes under City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).

"The proposal suggests that these agencies will develop or construct jetties in a way that RoRo services can be started," Darade said.

"The state government is planning that two wheelers and four wheeler vehicles can be transported via RoRo service from Ferry Wharf to Mandwa which will make it easier to reach Goa highway," Darade said.

At present, Konkan Railway avails of RoRo service, and heavy vehicles use it to reduce distance and thereby save fuel. If water tranport starts between Ferry Wharf and Mandwa, load over Mumbai-Goa Highway will reduce as tourists will use RoRo service and reach their destination without facing traffic congestion," Darade said.

Other issues like Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), Metro and coastal way will also be discussed in the meeting, he said.

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