Ferry Your Way From Thane To South Mumbai
To decongest Mumbai roads and bring down the travel time between key areas of the city, the Maharashtra government is planning to start inland water transport that would connect areas across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). While Phase-I of the water transport project will get operational by December, a detailed project report is being prepared to for Phase-II.
Currently, only one intra-city water route, from the Gateway of India to Mandwa and Elephanta, is operational in the Island City.
The project, which will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 661 crore, has received an in-principal approval from the government. To be funded by the state government, the project will be implemented jointly by the Thane Municipal Corporation, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the Maharashtra Maritime Board.
In Phase-I, the ferries would ply between Kalyan, Thane and Vasai through the Vasai creek. The are 11 planned stoppages in the route, including Vasai, Mira Bhayander, Ghodbunder Village, Nagla Bunder, Kolshet, Kalher, Parsik, Anjur, Dive, Dombivli and Kalyan.
Over 10 jetties put to operation initially would cover a total distance of 47 nautical miles.
The projected ridership is 13,500 and almost 60 passengers will travel on each vessel.
The total travel time would be 70 minutes during peak hours which is currently 98 minutes via roads.
The Phase-II will have two routes, Thane to Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The Thane-Mumbai route would have 10 stops, including, Thane, Kalwa, Vitawa, Mithbunder, Airoli, Vashi, Trombay, Elephanta, Ferry Warf, the Gateway of India.
The travel time will be 55 minutes during peak hours while the projected ridership is 10,000. There would be total eight jetties plying on this route that will connect the Island city with Thane.
The Mumbai-Navi Mumbai route will pass through Vashi, Nerul, Belapur, and Taloja. The average travel time will be 60 minutes while the projected ridership is 20,000. Initially, around 10 jetties will be operational at this route.
This transport system is expected to bring 20 per cent reduction in vehicular traffic on road and 33 per cent savings per trip on the inland waterway compared to roadways. It will also cut down the pollution level by 42 per cent and would enhance tourism potential.
Earlier, the water transport system was started between Borivali and the Gateway of India, but was shelved due to high operational cost. According to the urban planners in the city, the economic viability is the most important aspect of the project as the cost of operation and maintenance will be huge.
Also, the Thane creek is polluted and a lot of dredging will have to be done to start the water transport.
Apart from this, there has to be a proper access to options for the people to reach jetties for which support infrastructure such as roads and parking have to be constructed.