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Centre identifies new routes for ferry, RO-RO services through inland waterways

Monday, 21 Dec 2020
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In a move to promote coastal shipping and boost tourism, new routes for ferry and Roll-on Roll-off (RO-RO) services have been identified that include Somnath Temple, Hazira, Okha and Jamnagar. 
The destinations along with six international routes have been identified under the Sagarmala project, a flagship programme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW).  
The programme aims to promote port-led development in the country through harnessing 7,500 km long coastline and potentially navigable waterways. 
MoPSW has identified domestic locations -- Hazira, Okha, Somnath Temple, DIU, PIPAVAV, Dahej, Mumbai/JNPT, Jamnagar, Kochi, Ghogha, Goa, Mundra, and Mandvi-- for commencement of ferry services through inland waterways. 
Apart from this, six international routes connecting four international destinations namely Chattogram (Bangladesh), Seychelles (East Africa) Madagascar (East Africa) and Jaffna (Sri Lanka) from major Indian coastal port towns have been identified for these services. 
MoPSW, through Sagarmala Development Company (SDCL), is keen to facilitate companies to operate RO-RO, RO-PAX and ferry services on various routes and provide the required support to make the project operational. 
MoPSW has recently implemented one of such services by deploying RO-PAX vessel ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat.  
The ferry service has reduced the distance between Ghogha and Hazira to 90 km from 370 km and travel time to about five hours from 10-12 hours. 
MoPSW encourages private operators to identify routes which offer potential to commence the RO-RO, RO-PAX ferry service based on localised demand to promote supplementary and sustainable mode of transportation through coastal/inland water. 
SDCL will support the initiative by providing equity to the project in SPV framework, if required, and offer other assistance and facilitation to the private operators including obtaining various permissions and approvals from regulatory and statutory government authorities.
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