By Jaspal Singh Naol

Ro-Ro Services across the Sea that was proposed to Link SoBo (South Mumbai), Navi Mumbai and Alibaug has got delayed. Even if the Alibaug – Mumbai service work is now in a last phase and the removal of sludge has also been initiated in Mandwa. But to the dismay is the fact that the Navi Mumbai will have to wait for more than one year.
It is to be recalled that during the announcement of the said service and to ensure the timely completion of the project provisions were made in the new ports policy, which apart from ferries, also mentioned catamaran and hovercraft services. Moreover, to complete the works within the deadline that is March 2018.
The work was divided in three corporations, Mumbai Port Trust was to build a terminal at New Bhaucha Dhakka; similarly CIDCO was to build a terminal (Sagar Sangam Terminal) at Nerul, while the Maharashtra Maritime Board is doing the same at Mandwa.
From years the water linkages between Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Alibaug has been restricted to passenger ferries. This Roll On, Roll Off (Ro-Ro) car service was actually going to shift the whole Tourism and Economical status of Navi Mumbai and the Alibaug region. It was also being said that it will bring a big relief to the rising congestion of
the vehicles on the Mumbai Goa Road. Each ferry vessel will be carrying up to 40 cars and 350 passengers and the ferry will run every 30 minutes.
The Ro-Ro service was expected to start from the 1 April 2018, however as the work of Mandva Terminal has still not finished and reached on its last phase. The dream of Mumbaikars from Mumbai-Alibaug in 90 Minutes with their cars will need some more wait.
The Maharashtra Maritime Board has expressed that the said Terminal will be ready by July 2018 accordingly the tourists and the business visitors will gain the benefits thereafter. However, the bad news is for the Navi Mumbaikars. It may be recalled that, in 90’s the CIDCO had opened Terminals in Vashi and Belapur and initiated
Hover Craft service to Gateway of India. But, after some years all the services were stopped. The Belapur Terminal was finally handed over to Marine securities while the Vashi Terminal has been left in dilapidated condition for some reason.
It is only during the announcement of Ro-Ro service the residents and the business visitors again gain a light of hope. But to the dismay is the fact that, the proposed Sagar Sangam Terminal work is still not initiated. When tried to contact the CIDCO Official it was found that they are still awaiting permission from Forest Department on the Mangroves issues. A senior officer said that it might take around two years to complete the project and that too if we are able gain all environmental clearances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *