A Ropax ferry service will be launched between Hazira in Surat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8. The new service will bring down the 370-km distance between the two places by road to just 60 km by sea route.
The Ropax ferry will not just accommodate passengers, but will also accommodate vehicles, said Union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya. PM Modi will flag off similar services in other parts of the country as well, he added.
“A terminal has been constructed at Hazira, and all preparations are completed. The service will begin on November 8, and booking of tickets will start from tomorrow,” he said.
The Ropax ferry vehicle can transport up to 550 passengers, 30 trucks, seven smaller trucks, and 100 two-wheelers in one trip. It will be an all-weather service which will operate all 12 months irrespective of the weather conditions and high tide.
From Surat’s Hazira to Bhavnagar’s Ghogha ROPAX Ferry service will be flagged off virtually by Prime Minister Shri @NarendraModi on 8th November,2020
Congratulations Gujarat ! pic.twitter.com/wXrw9X97D6
— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) November 1, 2020
“The coast of Saurashtra is full of potential. There are a number of cement, steel and ship breaking industries, with markets in south India. Through sea connectivity, distance and time can be saved, and such a service will play a big role in industrial development,” he said.
This will be important to reduce road, railway congestion, reduce traffic accidents and control pollution,” he added.
“We have identified, mapped and studied the potential of destinations across the 7,500 km Indian sea coast and are going to start similar services on many destinations across the country,” the Union minister said.
Services to be launched by PM Modi
PM Modi will also launch similar services in Kochi (in Kerala), one on the Brahmaputra river in Assam, and one joining the North East to Kolkata on November 8.
A service connecting Karimganj in Assam over the Barak river to Bangladesh will also be launched by the prime minister on that day.
Ro-Ro service failed
The new Ropax service in Gujarat comes after a Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Bharuch district, launched by the PM in October 2017, was suspended last year due to siltation and unavailability of adequate draft to carry the vessel.
Mandaviya said the Ro-Ro service was affected due to siltation caused by flood in the Narmada river connecting the sea, and now only a small vessel requiring limited draft and carrying only passengers will operate between Ghogha and Dahej.
“We cannot run Ro-Ro service between Dahej and Ghogha as there isn’t adequate draft, and de-siltation is not financially feasible. We will run small vessels between Ghogha and Dahej that require limited draft,” he said.
Ticket pricing for Ropax
The Union minister clarified that fare for one passenger for the Ropax service between Hazira and Ghogha will be Rs 600 for general class, Rs 800 for executive class, Rs 1,200 for car and Rs 350 for a motorbike.
Similarly, the fare will be Rs 7,500 for a truck weighing more than 36 metric-ton, Rs 5,000 for a bus and Rs 4,000 for a tempo traveller. He said that online booking for the service has already begun.
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