The water transport project along the east coast between Ferry Wharf (Bhaucha Dhakka) and Nerul (Navi Mumbai) will start from March 2018, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.
The emphasis on water transport is to ease traffic congestion along the eastern coast. The decision to expedite the project comes as the Navi Mumbai International Airport is expected to begin first phase operations by 2019.
The government wants to complete the east coast waterways to reduce travel time and provide an alternative mode of transport through waterways, along with the existing local train services on the harbour line and central line. After the east coast, there are plans to explore the waterfront along the western coast between Nariman Point and Borivli.
Fadnavis said, “The infrastructure sub-committee has already given its nod and CIDCO has begun the process for the project, for which Rs 136 crore has been set aside.” The project will connect Ferry Wharf (Bhaucha Dhakka) and Belapur, Nerul, Vashi and Mandva.
The state government, along with MMB, has got all clearances and there will be division of work on construction of jetty at Nerul, Mandva and Ferry, the chief minister said.
The water terminal at Mandva will be constructed by the Mumbai Maritime Board (MMB), the nodal agency for the project. The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) will build the jetty at Ferry Wharf. The CIDCO will construct the jetty at Nerul.
Along with construction of ferry terminals, the process of releasing bids to award contracts for resuming waterways operations and their maintenance would be carried out.
The government has stated that it would incorporate all parameters related to quality catamarans/ Ro RO services and maintenance of water services when they become operational for daily passengers.
The CM was speaking in the Assembly, responding to a question by MLA Sandeep Naik.
Earlier, opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil suggested that the water transport plan should ensure adequate passenger safety.
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar pointed out that earlier, the Centre had disallowed the construction of a jetty at the Gateway of India citing security reasons and also the unmanageable crowd.