“Ro-Ro Services Across the Sea will Link SoBo, Navi Mumbai and Alibaug by 2018”: Niranjan Hiranandani

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

From Mumbai through Navi Mumbai to Alibaug in the Konkan Region, water linkages over the years have been restricted to passenger ferry services based on launches – but things are all set to change. Catamarans and Ferries along with new jetties and road connectivity will provide Mumbai and its neighbouring coastal areas with Roll-On Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry based connectivity; and water transport may well prove to be the infrastructure linkage which will make the Urbs Prima Indies and surrounding areas truly well-connected.

Last week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis informed the State Assembly that sea-based Ro-Ro services would link South Mumbai (SoBo), Navi Mumbai and Alibaug; and that the services would start by end-2018. He added that the provision in this regard had been made in the new ports policy, which apart from ferries, also mentions catamaran and hovercraft services.

“This is definitely good news, and we hope to see this project being completed as per schedule,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD, Hiranandani Communities and Founder and First President, NAREDCO Maharashtra.

Navi Mumbai and Panvel along with Alibaug have potential to develop into an economic powerhouse, and this sort of connectivity will provide a fillip to the positives that the Navi Mumbai Airport will bring to the region, said Niranjan Hiranandani. “The Hon’ble Chief Minister specified that sea-based Ro-Ro services would start from 2018, and would link the triangle formed by New Bhaucha Dhakka in South Mumbai; Nerul in Navi Mumbai and Mandwa, near Alibaug,” said Niranjan Hiranandani. “To ensure this happens within the deadline, the Mumbai Port Trust is building a terminal at New Bhaucha Dhakka; CIDCO is similarly building a terminal at Nerul, while the Maharashtra Maritime Board is doing the same at Mandwa,” he added.

For a coastal city like Mumbai, the sea-based Ro-Ro services for connectivity to Mandwa would be an apt option, rather than the long, circuitous drive from SoBo via Sion and Panvel, he pointed out. “The Ro-Ro ferry would be ideal; Mumbaikars could drive onto the Ro-Ro ferries at the New Ferry Wharf and a short sail later, drive off at Mandwa, bringing the hinterland of Alibaug closer to Mumbaikars. Better connectivity will result in higher tourism, giving the region’s development as also the state’s economy a fillip,” said Niranjan Hiranandani.

Pointing out it was not just tourism that would get a fillip; water-based transport linkages like the Ro-Ro would also result in better connectivity between Mumbai and other destinations in the Konkan region, through Mandwa/ Alibaug, said Niranjan Hiranandani. “The tender for the work has been finalised and the Hon’ble Chief Minister has assured that work will begin soon. He also said that water transport along the eastern coast would increase connectivity with the Navi Mumbai airport,” added the NAREDCO Maharashtra Founder and First President.

“Infrastructure growth in form of better connectivity, which includes new jetties, ferries and road linkages, will help develop coastal areas in Maharashtra from the economic perspective, while also giving a fillip to tourism development. This has the potential to create new development hubs in the Konkan region,” he concluded.

Niranjan Hiranandani is Founder & MD, Hiranandani Group, his recent initiative is Hiranandani Communities. He is the Founder and First President (Maharashtra), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), which works under the aegis of Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.