Water taxi service linking Mumbai to Navi Mumbai flagged by Union Minister Sonowal

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Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, virtually announced on Thursday, February 17, the water taxi service for Mumbai citizens from Belapur pier.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray presided over the ground function where he inaugurated the newly constructed Belapur Jetty.

A long-held aspiration of Maharasthra’s coastal residents, the water taxi service will link the twin cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai for the first time, the Navy Ministry said in a statement.

The water taxi services will start from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also link the neighboring sites of Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta Island and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

According to the ministry’s statement, the service promises comfortable and stress-free travel, saves time and promotes environmentally friendly transport.

The water taxi services will give a huge boost to the tourism sector, especially trips to historic Elephanta Caves from Navi Mumbai, the ministry said.

Visitors will be able to travel easily from Navi Mumbai to India Gate, he added.

Meanwhile, the newly constructed Belapur jetty, constructed at a cost of Rs 8.37 crore, has been financed under the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

The new jetty will allow the movement of vessels to places like Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta and Karanja.

Addressing the physical event via video conference, Sonowal congratulated the Mumbai Maritime Board and central and state agencies for completing the projects which are bringing huge benefits to citizens, boosting tourism and opening avenues for the creation of jobs.

“The Sagarmala program has undertaken a series of projects in a range of categories such as port modernization, rail, road, cruise tourism, RORO and passenger jetties, fisheries, coastal infrastructure, skills development . 131 projects worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore have been identified for implementation in Maharashtra,” Sonowal said.

He added, “Out of 131, 46 projects worth Rs 2,078 Crore are financially supported under the Sagarmala Scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.”

“The Maharashtra coast has huge potential for urban river transport which can become an alternative mode of transport. The ROPAX movement between Mumbai Ferry Wharf and Mandwa has had a positive impact with reduced travel time for passengers, a process More than 32 projects have been undertaken in four clusters – Palghar, Mumbai & Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg,” he said.

“For the upliftment of the fishing community, four fishing port projects have been approved for funding under Sagarmala. Phase II expansion of Mirkawada fishing port in Ratnagiri district completed, upgrading of Sassoon wharf and development of Karanja in Raigad and Anandwadi in Sindhudurg district being implemented . In addition, the Mallet Bunder upgrade proposal in Mumbai is under active consideration. said the minister.

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