FROM JANUARY 17, Mumbai Port Trust will start a ferry service from the domestic terminal to the Kanhoji Angre island, located opposite the Thal fishing port in Alibaug. The move is expected to increase tourism to the island, named after an admiral in the Maratha navy.
“Boat services will start from January 17 from domestic cruise terminal at Ferry Wharf to the dome-shaped island,” said Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) chairman, Sanjay Bhatiya.
He added that on the same day Bhoomipoojan for the development of the island will also be held. MbPT had floated tenders for developing the island and providing tourism facilities, said Bhatia.
“We also invited tenders for more than 10 operators to operate the ferries from the domestic cruise terminal to island,” said the chairman.
He further said that boat services may attract tourists as they will be able to reach the island in about 40 to 50 minutes. Budget of Rs 35 crore to Rs 40 crore have been spent on creating infrastructure and a jetty at the island, said MbPT officials. The services are expected to draw more than 300 to 400 tourists on weekends.
Currently, there is no direct ferry service to Kanhoji Angre island as the water level is very low during the low tide, informed a senior official from Mumbai port trust.
He added that at present it takes more than two to three hours to reach at Kanhoji Angre island, since tourists first have to take a ferry from Gateway of India to Thal village, which is 4-km away from Alibaug, then small boats take tourists to the Kanhoji Angre island. However, ferry services to the island are shut during monsoon on account of choppy waters.
Kanhoji Angre island is located around 23-km south of Gateway of India and acts as a entry point to the Mumbai harbour further acting as prime aid for navigation of vessels arriving and departing from Mumbai.
The Kanhoji Angre light house , among the tourist attractions on the island, was constructed in 1867.