New routes identified for RO-RO, RO-PAX and ferry services

New Delhi, December 22, 2020

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has identified new routes for RO-RO, RO-Passenger & Ferry services.

The new routes are part of the Ministry’s efforts for the promotion of coastal shipping under the Sagarmala Programme, an official press release said.

It envisages port-led development in the country through harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline and potentially navigable waterways.

Hazira, Okha, Somnath Temple, Diu, Pipavav, Dahej, Mumbai/JNPT, Jamnagar, Kochi, Ghogha, Goa, Mundra and Mandvi will be covered by the new routes.

Six International routes will connect four destinations -- Chattogram (Bangladesh), Seychelles (East Africa) Madagascar (East Africa) and Jaffna (Sri Lanka) from major coastal port towns for the commencement of ferry services through inland waterways.

Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) will facilitate the companies to operate RO-RO, RO-PAX and ferry services on various routes and provide the required support to make the project operational, the release said.

It has implemented one of such ferry routes by deploying RoPAX vessel ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat. This ferry service has reduced the distance between Ghogha and Hazira from 370 km to 90 km and travel time from 10 to 12 hours to about 5 hours. This will result in huge savings of fuel (approximately 9000 litres per day)

The release said private operators could identify the routes which offers potential to commence the RO-RO, RO-PAX ferry service based on the localized demand to promote the supplementary and sustainable mode of the transportation through coastal/inland water.

It would create a supplementary mode of transportation, which will not only be beneficial for the daily commuters, tourists movement and cargo transportation but also helpful in reducing carbon footprint by shifting to environment-friendly mode of transportation from rail and the road, it said.

Besides providing impetus to the tourism industry, it will create job opportunities in the coastal regions, save cost and time for the users and decongest road and rail networks.

Sagarmala Development Company Ltd will support the initiative by providing equity to the project in the SPV framework, if required, and provide other assistance and facilitation to the private operator(s) including obtaining various permissions and approvals from regulatory and statutory Government Authorities.

NNN

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