What is Gujarat’s Ro-Ro ferry service?

The Ro-Ro ferry, the first of its kind in India, will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports of Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 23, 2017 8:30 pm
narendra modi, gujarat, Ghogha, gujarat ro-ro ferry, ro-ro ferry, gujarat ro-ro ferry service, Ghogha Dahej ferry, The ro-ro ferry service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to just over an hour. (Photo Source: Gujarat Maritime Board)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Phase 1 of the ‘roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat on Sunday. The ro-ro ferry will ply the Gulf of Khambhat between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat. Ghogha situated in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra lies 17 nautical miles (32 km), across the gulf from Dahej in Bharuch district.

A first of its kind in India, the ferry will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports. The ro-ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo that are driven on and off the ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. The wheeled cargo includes, cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars.

ALSO READ: How hopes for travel ease, trade boost ride Ghogha-Dahej ro-ro ferry

The term ro-ro is generally reserved for large ocean-going vessels. The vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port. This is in opposite to the lift-on and lift-off (lo-lo) vessels, which use a crane to load and unload cargo.

This ferry service project cost stands at Rs 614 crore. The central government has allocated Rs 117 crore for dredging work at both Ghogha and Dahej under the Sagarmala initiative. The Gujarat government body in charge of marine and ports affairs along the state’s 1,600 km coastline, floated tenders for the project in 2011.

The service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to just over an hour. The distance between the two places would be reduced to 31 km from the current distance of 360 km. When fully operationalised, it will also enable movement of vehicles. PM Modi will travel in the maiden voyage of this service. The ferry service is aimed at boosting the connectivity and infrastructure in Gujarat.

Earlier, an attempt was made by a private firm with the support from the state government to launch a modern passenger ferry service (the “Kutch-Sagar Setu”) between Okha in Devbhumi Dwarka district and Mandavi in Kutch district across the Gulf of Kutch in 2016. However, it had to be suspended after it faced technical and financial challenges.

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  1. D
    Oct 25, 2017 at 10:45 am
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    1. S
      Oct 24, 2017 at 11:20 am
      Being from the Marine Industry I can tell you the Ro-Ro Ferry 'Island Jade' is a very old boat and was built in 1987, which is well over 30 years old. This is a very unsafe practice and it is risk operate a ferry for transportation of passengers which this old. It is a floating coffin which could sink any day.
      1. Chellappanpillai S. Radhakrishnan
        Oct 23, 2017 at 11:28 pm
        There was a Coastal Shipping service between Makran and Kochi, touching Gujarat,Mumbai.Mormugao, and Mangalore en-route.It was run by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company. If this route is revived with Tourism as an added focus, with large,stable vessels like Catamaran in design, RO RO service can also be provided and cargo for CentralAsia can be delivered to the Southern tip of the ROad Network connecting right up to Russia addition, local RO RO service connecting Dwarka or Jamnagar with Bharuch,Surat and Vasai or Main Port of Mumbai, and then to Malwan,Panaji and Karwar can be tapped for Tourism-cum-Cargo movement. India's potential for Coastal transport with multi-mopde mixes as Optionals ,is immense. Government should only give a subsidy for the first five year as Route Development Grant. Either the Government or any Private operator should be able to run it viably on commercial lines.
        1. Varkey Thomas
          Oct 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm
          There is embarrassing hype about this being unique. Kerala already has two of these.
          1. Aadarsh Pillai
            Oct 23, 2017 at 7:14 pm
            seriously? Please provide details...as to which are these two... and how many vehicles and passengers can they carry?
            1. S
              Oct 26, 2017 at 6:52 am
              : newindianexpress /cities/kochi/2017/jan/11/cochin-shipyard-limited-launches-second-ro-ro-ferry-1558294
          2. D
            Oct 23, 2017 at 4:08 am
            Good! Making progress everyday!
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