Mumbaikars will soon be able to take a more scenic and congestion free route to reach their favourite travel destination with the start of the Goa-Mumbai ferry service from December.
The development was confirmed by Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari earlier this week.
Gadkari made the announcement at a press briefing after a mid-review meeting with representatives of all 12 major ports in South Goa.
The Goa-Mumbai ferry service, incidentally, is not a completely new mode of transport. It has been operational for brief periods between the 60s and 90s.
This time, the service will be restarted under the Sagar Mala project, aimed at modernising the country’s ports.
According to sources, the ferry will depart from Ferry Wharf in South Mumbai and travel to Panjim in Goa via Vengurla, Malvan and Ratnagiri along the scenic Konkan coast.
Although exact details about the vessels are yet to be confirmed, officials speculate that air-conditioned cruise liners with a capacity of around 250 passengers will be deployed on the route. They will cover the distance in about 7 hours.
The minister, meanwhile, has also urged hotels to construct floating jetties to help visitors reach their premises.
While the move to restart Goa-Mumbai ferry service has met with positive response from most, many have also raised concerns about the project’s feasibility given the service was discontinued earlier due to lack of financial viability.
Some hotels are also skeptical about the project due to factors like high risk, high cost of building floating berths and inability to operate during monsoon.
At present, 289 projects are in various stages of implementation under Sagar Mala. The projects are likely to cost around 2.17 lakh crore overall, of which Rs 601 crore has already been released for the year 2017-18. It is also expected to create 10 million jobs.