The sea route will be between Belapur (police jetty) and Thane (Salt Bunder jetty). Representation pic
There's good news for people tired of traffic jams and crowded trains between Navi Mumbai and Thane. The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) plans to start passenger ferry services between the two cities. Once operational, passengers will be able to cover the 25-odd km distance in less than 45 minutes, which by road takes close to one-and-a-half hours.
A senior MMB official said, "Being close to Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane cities are developing rapidly, and as a result, there has been tremendous pressure on the existing road and rail network. There are numerous traffic issues, resulting in considerable loss in time and fuel. The naturally available waterways around Navi Mumbai and Thane provide an alternative to run such services, which will help ease some pressure off road and rail transport."
The main reason behind developing more passenger water transport routes in the state, said MMB officials, is because it is an eco-friendly mode of travel. At present, there are various waterways in non-major ports of Maharashtra handling about 2 crore passengers annually.
In order to take the plan ahead, the MMB has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from interested parties who intend to develop and maintain the proposed route between Belapur (police jetty) and Thane (Salt Bunder jetty) and finance, procure, operate and maintain ferry services on it.
"EoI is only for developing and maintaining the above-mentioned route and providing ferry services. The period of contract shall be 10 years (which may be extended by 5 years on mutual consent) for which the developer shall be given the exclusive right to operate and maintain the route and ply services on it," said the official.
The location in Belapur from where ferries will leave will be around 2 km away from the railway/bus station, while in Thane, it will be 700 metres away from the nearest railway/bus station.
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