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Govt. embarks on promoting low pollution waterway transportation

This mode of transportation has multiple benefits, including reduced travel time, reduced logistics cost and lower pollution in comparison to the conventional mode of transportation.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Under the ”Sagarmala Programme”. the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) has embarked on developing an ecosystem for the promotion of Ro-Ro (Roll-on, Roll-off) ferry and waterway transportation in the country.

This mode of transportation has multiple benefits, including reduced travel time, reduced logistics cost and lower pollution in comparison to the conventional mode of transportation.

In view of the immense potential and distinct advantages of ferry service, the ministry is financially supporting 45 projects with a total project cost of Rs. 1900 crore. Under the gambit of ”Sagarmala”, the ministry has operationalised the Ro-Pax Ferry service between Ghogha – Hazira in Gujarat and Mumbai-Mandwa in Maharashtra. These services have transported more than 7 lakh passengers and 1.5 lakh vehicles, contributing to a clean environment and public welfare.

In view of the success of these projects and high demand and potential, additional projects are planned at Pipavav and Muldwarka in Gujarat and Ghodbunder, Veldur, Vasai, Kashid, Rewas, Manori and JN Port etc. in Maharashtra.  In addition, the ministry is supporting four projects in Andhra Pradesh, two in Odisha and 1 each in Tamil Nadu and Goa.

The ministry has prepared a draft of “Guidelines for Operationalisation of Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax ferry service along the coast of India” after incorporating the preliminary inputs received from the stakeholders. The guidelines encompass the two aspects of ferry operation namely; concessions for terminal operation and license for operation of Ro-Pax vessels.

These guidelines will homogenise and streamline the development and operations of ferry services, along with, promoting ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary delays, and disagreements and introducing digital interventions at the customer interface.

They will also help state/UT governments and the port authorities in the implementation of such projects by standardisation of procedures. Further, it will help in instilling confidence among the private players thereby increasing their participation and promoting healthy competition in such projects.

The ministry intends to seek feedback and suggestions on the draft guidelines for the operationalisation of Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax ferry service along the coast of India from all stakeholders.