The long-awaited water taxi service between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the first week of January, official sources said. The service, which was first planned three decades ago, will cut commute time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. It was taken up seriously over the last few years as part of the Centre’s inland waterways initiative and the Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Maritime Board and CIDCO worked in synergy for the project. The metropolis earlier had a hovercraft service connecting Gateway of India with Navi Mumbai and Girgaum Chowpatty with Juhu.
News18 takes a look at what the new service offers, logistics and details:
What are the new routes?
The government has allotted routes such as International Cruise Terminal to Elephanta, Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) to Rewas, Karanjade, Dharamtar, DCT to Belapur, Nerul, Vashi, Airoli, Khanderi Islands and Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), to various operators. The operators say that DCT to JNPT, and later Navi Mumbai, will be the most sought-after route. At present, there are no infrastructure facilities at Vashi and Airoli.
How did work for water taxi and catamaran terminal start?
The project received a push after Nitin Gadkari assumed charge as Shipping Minister. The Mumbai Port Trust constructed the DCT and CIDCO started building the terminals in Navi Mumbai. The Maharashtra Maritime Board charted the routes. The MbPT also constructed a concrete jetty at Khanderi Islands.
How much will you have to pay?
According to an operator, the fares from DCT to Navi Mumbai will be between Rs 1,200 and 1,500 per passenger while the fare to JNPT can be around Rs 750. Another said that the fare from DCT in Mumbai to JNPT and Navi Mumbai will be from Rs 800 to Rs 1,100.
How long will a water taxi take to reach Navi Mumbai?
According to the operators, it will be a 30-minute ferry from DCT to Navi Mumbai and 15 to 20 minutes from DCT to JNPT. Services are also not likely to operate in extremely heavy rains.
When did Mumbai and Navi Mumbai last have sea transport?
The Gateway of India was connected to Navi Mumbai and Girgaum was connected to Juhu by catamaran till the services were shut down in 1994. At present, there are speedboats, launches, catamarans that run on the Mumbai-Mandwa route and launches that connect Mumbai with Uran, Mora, Rewas, Mandwa and Elephanta Caves. Besides, there are diesel launches that connect Madh Island and Versova, Borivali and Gorai-Esselworld and Marve-Manori, the Indian Express reported.