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Mumbai region’s 2nd Ro-Ro service starts, links Bhayander-Vasai towns

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Thane (Maharashtra), Feb 20

The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) on Tuesday launched a new RoRo (Rollon-Rolloff) boat service connecting the busy towns of Bhayander (Thane) with Vasai (Palghar), officials said.

The maiden service was inaugurated by Shiv Sena-UBT MP from Thane, Rajan Vichare amidst claps and cheers as the first of the passengers and vehicles sailed from Bhayander to Vasai.

Presently, besides the Western Railway (WR) suburban services, the two towns can be accessed via the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway and the journey can take around 100-125 minutes one way.

With the new RoRo ferry, the time will be slashed to barely 15 minutes enabling huge savings in time, fuel, and pollution, said Vichare at the inaugural.

MMB officials said that the RoRo ferry has been started on an experimental basis for three months, and after checking out all the problems and difficulties, it would be expanded.

During the trial period, the MMB will carefully monitor aspects like safe and easy navigation of the boats, ease of boarding and disembarking both for passengers and the vehicles, the time taken for the total voyage, including the time taken for vehicles to roll on and roll off.

To begin with, there will be eight round trips in 12 hours, starting at 6.45 a.m. from Vasai end, and from 7.30 a.m. from the Bhayander side.

Each RoRo vessel has a capacity of 100 passengers and at least 33 vehicles per trip, and can ferry two, three, four wheelers, or even heavy vehicles.

The minimum fare for children (3-12 years) is Rs 15, for adult passengers Rs 30 and for a two-wheeler Rs 60, and will increase depending on the type of vehicles and the number of occupants.

The RoRo, being operated by Suvarnadurg Shipping & Marine Services Pvt Ltd., will help decongest highway traffic as well as within the two towns.

This has become the second RoRo service in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region with a similar service operational from the Ferry Wharf (Mumbai) to the Mandwa jetty (Raigad) on the mainland which has proved immensely popular.

In the next few months, under the larger Sagar Mala initiative, the state government plans to start four more RoRo services this year at: Dighi, Kashid, Mora, and Rewas – all in the MMR vicinity, as per an official announcement made by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde last year.

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