Mumbai gets ready for a new 'wave' in transport

Traffic has been one of the biggest concerns Mumbaikars have been dealing with for many years now, but soon the issue will be solved. The city of Mumbai, in 2018, will soon see a new medium of transport, this time with its biggest commodity - Water!

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If you’re exhausted of the daily local train hassle, sick of the pathetic traffic jams in Mumbai and think that there are no alternatives to these struggles, here’s some good news for you! A series of water transport routes to and fro Mumbai have been proposed or already been started! 

Mumbai is not only a city of dreams but also endless struggles. Especially when you live in the suburban areas, you can’t do without travelling. From the moment you step outside your house in the morning till the time you get back in the evening, you have to face difficulties getting a proper conveyance, atrocious traffic jams and of course, the crowded local trains. During peak hours in the morning and evening, even walking down the foot-over-bridge seems like a task, let alone getting a seat on the train. It is estimated that a Mumbaikar spends 1/6th the time of a day in local trains. Also, the ever growing population is dearly adding up the problem.

But fret not, The Centre and the State Government are working towards making the travel experience of the passengers by resorting to water transport services in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. This step will also ease traffic congestion and also provide a pollution-free mode of transport. 

India has a sprawling maritime coastline of 7,500 km along with 111 in land rivers. A country having such excellent resources must make the most of them by developing a network of water transport, relieving the Railways and Road transport. The government is striving for making water transport available within the next 2-3 years taking lessons from the USA, Canada, and Europe who already have a dense network of water canal facilities.


Ro-Ro services (Bhaucha Dhakka to Mandwa)

Now you could travel from Mumbai to Mandwa in 15 minutes! The Maharashtra Maritime Board has undertaken the development of the route between the Ferry Warf (Bhaucha Dhakka) and Mandwa and the process is almost completed. The roll-on-roll-off ferry will have 3-4 boats functional on the route, each having a capacity of holding 150 people and 40 vehicles. Along with the completion of the breakwater stretch, the jetty terminal is being worked on as well.

These facilities are intended to be started in 52 other places in Maharashtra, including ferry services from Navi Mumbai to Gateway of India and Borivali to Gorai. At present, the development of water transport services is being worked on in 30 seaports in the state. Gorai, Malvan, Bhayandar have also approved ferry projects.


Sagarmala scheme

Under the Sagarmala scheme, you can now sail from Mumbai to Goa in a ferry boat. The ferry facilities will be made available by the end of 2017. It will also be possible to travel to Ratnagiri, Vengurla, and Malvan by these ferry boats. These services will prove very advantageous for passengers travelling to the Konkan region. The Government has spent over ₹2,17,000 on the establishment of this scheme.


Mumbai-Bangkok cruise

Ever thought of sailing to Bangkok on a cruise? Well, now you really can. Thanks to a clutch of new international sailings top and from Mumbai. Viking Ocean Cruises debuts sailings from Mumbai to Bangkok and from Athens to Mumbai. The Mumbai-Bangkok cruise services have already opened from September 8, 2017, while the Athens-Mumbai cruise services will commence later this year on August 19, 2018. The cruise to Bangkok will be of 16 days and will be inclusive of 8 guided tours in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Goa and 5 countries with overnights in Mumbai, Columbo, and Bangkok.

This cruise reaches Mumbai within 21 days of the journey and will tour 6 different countries in its course. During this heritage tour, the passengers will be offered regional delicacies and will get to visit various tourist attractions like the Pyramids and the Red Sea.


Sea Plane services from Lonavala to Mumbai

A seaplane service that can take passengers from Mumbai to Lonavala within 30 minutes has been flagged off at an inaugural price of ₹2,999 per ticket. The service will soon be expanded to other tourist destinations such as Mula Dam near Shirdi, Gangapur Dam in Nashik and Dhoom Dam near Mahabaleshwar. Spicejet is devising to employ 100 sea plans, each having a capacity of 10-14 passengers. The Government is also striving to make these services available affordable so that the common man can also enjoy the leisure of flying.


Ferry ride from Girgaum Chowpatty to Gateway of India

Girgaum Chowpatty is all set to get a facelift with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Port Trust planning to develop water sports, seaplanes and ferry services which will transport people to Gateway of India. BMC has proposed to use a part of Girgaum Chowpatty to build a jetty and recreational centre. The project will be developed by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). About 2,791 sqm of Girgaum Chowpatty would be used as a recreational space for citizens as well as tourists in the future.

The objective of the government is to promote the development of small ports in the country to further promote water transport in Mumbai. With all these above moves, Mumbai’s dream of travelling in nature’s lap with utmost peace and convenience will be fulfilled. Just like coming up with eco-friendly alternatives like water transport, the government must also look into the improvement and development of the Railways and the Road transport services in the city. Enough care must be taken that the water transport facilities don’t end up like our crammed local trains or congested roads.

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