Ahmedabad: The roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ferry service in Gujarat will be suspended from Tuesday due to accumulation of silt at Dahej Terminal, said officials. The ferry service was inaugurated in October, 2017 and had cut travel time between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch from eight hours by road to three hours by sea.
"Dahej Terminal is situated at the mouth of the Narmada river, at a point where it meets the Arabian Sea. Due to huge inflow of water in the Narmada river, there has been unexpected siltation in the navigation channel at Dahej Ro-Ro terminal," a Gujarat Maritime Board official said.
A release from GMB stated that siltation had caused decrease in water level to one metre, leading to a situation that was unsafe to operate the ferry, adding that dredging operations to remove the silt would begin from first week of October.
Indigo Seaways Private Limited, which operates the ferry, published a notice on its website about the suspension of service from September 24. Speaking on the issue, GMB CEO Mukesh Kumar said, "Water is continuously being discharged from Sardar Sarovar Dam into Narmada river. As a result, the Narmada is swelling after almost six years."
"The water also brought a huge amount of silt, which has accumulated at Dahej terminal. In just one month, water level decreased from five metres to one metre, which is unsafe to operate the ferry," he added.
He said an expert from Indian Institute Technology Madras' Ocean Engineering Department has been roped in to work out a solution. The GMB release said an alternate route for the ferry service, which had reduced the distance between the two places from 360km by road to 30 km by sea, was being explored.