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MMB set to rope in Ropax operator for ferry service between wharf Mumbai and Mandwa

Maharasthra state maritime regulator, Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has planned to contract Roll on/roll off-Passenger vessel service to operate ferry between wharf Mumbai and Mandwa, according to a release on 13th Oct.

The selected operator shall be responsible for total management and operation of Ro-Pax vessel service including procurement of appropriate vessels, sale of tickets and operation of vehicles in the marshalling yard, operation of Passenger and Ro-Ro services, collection of all the revenue from ticket as well as other sources, marketing, security provision on-board the vessels, etc. The term of services shall be 15 years, extendable on the basis of performance and as a decided by MMB.

The prospective operator shall procure or long term hire/charter with all the necessary permissions to ply within inland waters, suitable vessels for the terminal at Ferry Wharf and Mandwa. The vessels in operations shall be replaced when operating life of the vessels is over during the course of executing the services as per the contract.

Approximately 14 lakh passengers travel each year on the Gateway of India (Mumbai) to Mandwa (Raigad) waterway using the existing passenger ferry service. Travelling by water transport saves time and hence the tourists too prefer to use the passenger ferries at the Gateway of India. Hence, MMB jointly with Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), desires to introduce a Ro-Pax service (capable of carrying passengers as well as Roll on- Roll-off) facility between Ferry Wharf and Mandwa.

This facility (Ferry Wharf to Mandwa) will enable the passengers to travel along with their vehicles which will save considerable time and fuel. This will help both tourists as well as the local people by ensuring a faster and also third mode of transportation, in addition to Road and Railway. This is also expected to improve the hinterland connectivity and boost tourist activities in the Alibaug and Konkan region.

Further the project will reduce the congestion on roads and commensurate reduction of vehicular pollution. In this regard, The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) invites online offers through e-tendering process from reputed Companies/ Firms/ Consortiums with prior experience in operation and maintenance of Ro- Pax services. The operator will have to Finance, Procure, Operate and Maintain Ro-Pax vessels and provide services on aforesaid identified route.  

The route shall be: Ferry Wharf to Mandwa (approximately 10 Nautical Miles) ‐ for Ro‐PAX ferry service. Minimum depth expected to be available en‐route and at berth is 3.0 m below chart datum (cd) MMB/MbPT have decided to first, construct the Ro-pax ferry terminals and subsequently, consider privatising the terminalís operation and maintenance.

The shore based terminal facilities at Mandwa including the approach jetty, turning platform, floating pontoon with link span assembly, mooring dolphins, marshalling yard (for about 130 cars) and terminal building shall be built by MMB. The MMB is in a process of construction of these facilities and the expected completion period is 18 months by March-2018. Design of these shore based facilities for berthing of Ro- Pax vessels will be shared with the prospective operator. Further, MMB has also started construction of a breakwater at Mandwa in order to ensure water tranquility for faster and safer ferry operations. The shore based facilities at Ferry Wharf will be constructed by Mumbai Port.   

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