Government identifies new routes for ferry services via inland waterways
The program aims to promote port development in the country by exploiting the 7,500 km of Indian coastline and potentially navigable waterways.
“MoPSW has identified national sites, namely Hazira, Okha, Somnath Temple, DIU, PIPAVAV, Dahej, Mumbai / JNPT, Jamnagar, Kochi, Ghogha, Goa, Mundra and Mandvi … said the ministry in a statement.
In addition, six international routes, connecting 4 international destinations namely Chattogram (Bangladesh), Seychelles (East Africa), Madagascar (East Africa) and Jaffna (Sri Lanka) from the main Indian coastal port cities have been identified for these services.
The ministry said it works continuously for the promotion of coastal shipping under the Sagarmala program.
MoPSW, through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), wishes to help companies operate RO-RO, RO-PAX and ferry services on various routes across the country and provide the support needed to make the operational project, he said.
MoPSW recently implemented one of these services by deploying an RO-PAX ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha.
This ferry service reduced the distance between Ghogha and Hazira from 370 km to 90 km and the journey time from 10-12 hours to around 5 hours. This will translate into huge fuel savings of around 9,000 liters per day, he said.
“To replicate the success of the above business model, MoPSW is now encouraging the private operator to identify routes, which offers the potential to start the RO-RO, RO-PAX ferry service based on localized demand for promote the additional and sustainable mode of coastal / inland water transport, ”the statement said.
The aim is to create an additional mode of transport, which will not only be beneficial for daily commuters, tourist travel and freight transport, but also useful for reducing the carbon footprint by switching from rail to road to a environmentally friendly mode of transport.
The government said it would boost the tourism industry and create employment opportunities in coastal regions, saving both costs and time for users, in addition to decongesting road and rail networks. .
SDCL will support the initiative by providing capital to the project under the SPV, if necessary, and will provide other assistance and facilitation to private operators, including obtaining various authorizations and approvals from regulatory and statutory government authorities, a- he added.