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Shipping Ministry identifies new routes for RO-RO, RO-PAX, ferry services

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2020 15:00 IST

New Delhi [India], December 21 (ANI): The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) on Monday said that it has identified domestic locations and six international routes, connecting four international destinations from Indian major coastal port towns for the commencement of ferry services through inland waterways.
"MoPSW has identified domestic locations namely Hazira, Okha, Somnath Temple, DIU, PIPAVAV, Dahej, Mumbai/JNPT, Jamnagar, Kochi, Ghogha, Goa, Mundra and Mandvi and six international routes, connecting four international destinations namely Chattogram (Bangladesh), Seychelles (East Africa) Madagascar (East Africa) and Jaffna (Sri Lanka) from Indian major coastal port towns for the commencement of ferry services through inland waterways," the release said.
The Ministry in a release stated that it has been working continuously for the promotion of Coastal Shipping under Sagarmala Programme. The Sagarmala programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry to promote port-led development in the country through harnessing India's 7,500 Km long coastline and potentially navigable waterways.
The Ministry, through Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL), is desirous of facilitating the companies to operate RO-RO, RO-PAX and Ferry services on various routes across the nation and provide the required support to make the project operational.

MOPSW has recently successfully implemented one of such ferry routes by deploying RoPAX vessel ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha. This ferry service has reduced the distance between Ghogha and Hazira from 370 kilometres to 90 kilometres and travel time from 10 to 12 hours to about five hours. This will result in huge savings of fuel (approximately 9000 litres per day).
To replicate the success of the above business model, MoPSW now encourages the private operator to identify the routes, which offers potential to commence the RO-RO, RO-PAX ferry service based on the localised demand to promote the supplementary and sustainable mode of transportation through coastal/inland water.
The purpose is to 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 road.
Also, to provide impetus to the tourism industry, create job opportunities in the coastal regions, saving in terms of both cost and time for the users and to 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. (ANI)