The much-awaited waterway between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai is expected to start functioning from March next year.
The service was expected to start in May this year, but was delayed due to the pandemic. CIDCO said the ₹111-crore project to construct Nerul jetty is in the final stages of completion.
The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) and CIDCO are jointly developing the waterway along the east coast of Mumbai, which will connect the city to Navi Mumbai and Raigad. Transport services will first begin on the Nerul-Bhaucha Dhakka route and then on the Nerul-Rewas-Mandwa route in Raigad district.
The BPT has built a water terminal at Bhaucha Dhakka, while the MMB constructed one at Mandwa. CIDCO is building the terminal at Nerul. The project will include a Ro-Ro (roll-on roll-off) service. On Monday, Thane MP Rajan Vichare reviewed the project along with CIDCO vice-chairman and managing director Sanjay Mukherjee.
“The journey from Navi Mumbai to Mumbai takes around two hours, but once the service starts, it will be reduced to 25 minutes. Plans to connect Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayander to Navi Mumbai are also in the pipeline,” Mr Vichare said.
CIDCO PRO Priya Ratambe said, “The work on the jetty started in April 2018 and was expected to finish by April 2020, but the pandemic and clearance from the Forest Department delayed the project. However, now it is back on track and will be finished in the next five months. MMB will run the ferry service.”