The Ro-Ro ferry will take you to Alibaug from Mumbai's Mazgaon port (Bhaucha Dhakka) in 90 minutes. (express photo: Pradip Das)
The Union Shipping Ministry announced Friday it would form an "empowered group" to find solutions to re-start the stalled Ro-Ro ferry service in Gujarat, which could be as early as next month.
The much-awaited Mumbai to Alibaug car ferry service was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2017. It was suspended on September 24, 2019, after Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) cited heavy siltation from the river Narmada.
Here is everything you need to know about the Ro-Ro ferry service:
Ro-Ro ferry service: When does it start?
The much-delayed Ghoga-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service is set to kick-off as early as next month. This ferry will transport passengers to Alibaug from Mumbai's Mazgaon port (Bhaucha Dhakka) in 90 minutes. The Ro-Ro Ferry is not just a transport option for passengers, because it will also carry cars and buses. The terminal at Mazgaon is ready and built, and each ferry can hold up to 18 buses, 180 cars and 500 passengers.
What is the Ghoga-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service ticket price?
The ticket price is Rs 1,000 for a car, Rs 200 for a bike. Executive class ticket price is Rs 350. For business class, it is Rs 500 and for VVIP class, the price is Rs 1,000.
What is Ro-Ro ferry service arrival and departure timings?
The Ro-Ro ferry service does not include the docking and undocking time, it will operate 24x7. Compare this with the three-plus hours it takes from South or Central Mumbai to Alibaug. This could also shave off an hour and the worst part of the drive to Goa or the other beautiful beaches along the Konkan coast.
Alibaug side, the Ro-Ro car ferry will dock at Mandwa, where other regular ferries currently dock. The main town of Alibaug is about 20km from here.
When was Ro-Ro service suspended?
The ferry has carried 2.8 lakh passengers between the two destinations since October 28, 2018 and September 24, 2019 when it was suspended due to “heavy siltation” from an overflowing Narmada dam. Apart from passengers, the ferry has also transported about 45,000 cars, 12,500 trucks and close to 26,000 two-wheelers.
A four-fold rise in dredging costs and “unforeseen” amount of siltation caused by the river Narmada in the Gulf of Khambhat are cited as reasons by the Gujarat government, which wanted the Centre to take charge of the project where issues surrounding dredging have caused the Ro-Ro ferry to break down four times within a period of 12 months.