To get Ro-Ro going,maritime board gears up for big dredging project

This is the first time GMB is creating terminals in the sea.

Written by Avinash Nair | Ahmedabad | Published: May 18, 2013 3:09 am

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) will be undertaking the biggest-ever dredging activity in its 30-year history as it prepares to implement the Ro-Ro Ferry project connecting Gogha in Bhavnagar with Dahej,which is located on opposite other side of Gulf of Khambhat in Bharuch district.

“This is the first time GMB is creating terminals in the sea. Over 3 million cubic metres of dredging will be required to make this project a success. We have never undertaken such a large dredging project in our history,” says H C Rajpal,the head of GMB’s mechanical department.

Tenders for the project,worth Rs 115 crore,has already been floated as part of the Rs 400-crore ferry project that attempts to provide cheaper,faster and convenient transportation between Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions.

GMB,which is the nodal agency for all maritime activities in Gujarat,plans to attract national and international dredgers for the project. The agency will be holding a special seminar in Mumbai on June 5,briefing the dredgers about this project.

The GMB’s dredging project entails creation of new “channels” in the Gulf of Khambhat that will be about 100 metres in width. “The channel’s length will be about 4,300 metres at Ghogha and 6,000 metres in Dahej,” Rajpal said.

The channels will have a draft of about five metres. The vessels that will use these channels are designed to carry passengers and vehicles of all types with special attention to trucks and cars.

Vessels that will have a carrying capacity of 500 passengers and 100-150 vehicles are expected to ply on this route. These vessels will need a maximum draft of 4.5 meters and will move at a speed of 22 knots (40 kms/hour).

“The work of dredging is scheduled to begin after the monsoon and is expected to be completed in six months,” he said.

The last date for filing the submitting online bids for the project is June 21.

On January 2012,Chief Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project that attempts to cut the distance between Bhavnagar and Bharuch by at least by four hours.

Essar Projects had won the bid to design and construct the Ro-Ro service terminals at Gogha and Dahej,besides building the approach at both the ends.

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