Modi to launch water taxis in Mumbai next month
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a water taxi service between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai in January. The PM will visit Mumbai next month where he will also inaugurate a chemical facility at the Mumbai Port Trust that has been active since October. He will also hold a ground-breaking ritual for a new chemical terminal at the port.
Why does it matter?
The water taxi would reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. It was an initiative that was planned three decades earlier. As part of the central government's inland waterways strategy, the service has been given major consideration in recent years. However, it has been handed over to private operators and would thus be largely unaffordable for daily passengers.
What will be the fare and end points?
The water taxi will run between Mumbai and the two Navi Mumbai jetties and include a stop at JNPT. The fare from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai is estimated to range between Rs. 1,200-1,500 per person, one of the operators told The Indian Express. The fare to JNPT will be Rs. 750. There will be another service between Mumbai and Rewas, Raigad district.
Who worked on this project?
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), Maharashtra Maritime Board, and CIDCO collaborated to make the water taxis a reality. The Domestic Cruise Terminal at Ferry Wharf in Mumbai was built by MbPT. The terminals at Belapur and Nerul in Navi Mumbai are being finished by CIDCO.
Service available from 8 am-8 pm
The water taxis will reportedly be operational from 8 am-8 pm for 330 days a year (services will be discontinued during monsoons). "At present, we have four vessels including one 50-seater, a 40-seater, a 32-seater and a 14-seater," the operator quoted above told TIE. "Our boats will take less than 30 minutes from DCT to Navi Mumbai," he said.
Which other routes will the taxis run on?
The operator said the following routes have been allotted by the government: International Cruise Terminal to Elephanta; Domestic Cruise Terminal to Rewas; Karanjade, Dharamtar; Domestic Cruise Terminal to Belapur, Nerul, Vashi, and Airoli; and DCT to Khanderi islands and JNPT. The jetties at Vashi and Airoli remain under construction. Tickets can be purchased online at watertaximumbai.com, and seats must be reserved a day before.