More Ro-Ro ferry services in pipeline under Sagarmala project; govt issues operational guidelines

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) Ministry is developing 45 Ro-Ro (Roll-on, Roll-off) ferry and waterway transportation projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 1900 Crore in order to reduce travel time logistics costs and pollution, the ministry said in an official statement.

Through the initiative of Sagarmala, the Ministry established Ro-Pax Ferry services between Ghogha – Hazira in Gujarat and Mumbai – Mandwa in Maharashtra to provide for convenient and clean commutation. These services have catered to over 7 lakh passengers and 1.5 lakh vehicles.

Additional projects are planned at Ghodbunder, Veldur, Vasai, Kashid, Rewas, Manori, Pipavav and Muldwarka, JN Port in Maharashtra and Pipavav and Muldwarka in Gujarat. In addition to these, the Ministry is also financing projects in various other states. These include 4 projects in Andhra Pradesh, 2 in Odisha, and 1 each in Tamil Nadu and Goa.

The Ministry has prepared a draft guideline for the operation of the Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro ferries along the coast of India. The guidelines also cover the license for the operation of the vessels and the concessions for the terminal operation, the ministry informed.

The ministry has further asked relevant stakeholders for suggestions on the draft guidelines. The document can be accessed from the websites of the MoPSW and Sagarmala on the links  and respectively and suggestions can be sent to the proforma attached as Annexure I of the guidelines within 21 days from the date of publication.

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

The guidelines will help the State and Union governments in implementing the projects by establishing a standardized procedure for the approval of the projects to promote competition and encourage the private players to participate in the projects.