PM Modi is set to inaugurate Phase 1 of the "roll on-roll off" ferry service between the two ports of Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat.
Called the Ro-Ro ferry, the ferry is the first of its kind in India and has a carrying capacity of 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers.
India's first-of-its-kind Ro-Ro ferry service in Gujarat
Earlier attempts had failed
A year back, a private firm had attempted to launch a modern ferry service (the "Kutch-Sagar Setu") with support from the state government. The project aimed to connect Okha and Mandavi across the Gulf of Kutch. However, it was suspended due to financial issues.
Details about Ro-Ro ferry
The term Ro-Ro is generally used for large ocean-going vessels which have in-built or shore-based ramps that allow cargo and vehicles to be easily rolled on and rolled off the vessel.
The service in Gujarat is set to reduce travel time between the two ports (a distance of 32 km) from around eight hours to just over an hour.
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Distance between Ghogha and Dahej has been shortened by 90%
The Ro-Ro ferry service, by adopting a water-based route, has shortened the distance between Ghogha and Dahej to 32 km from the earlier land-based route's distance of 360 km, thereby drastically improving connectivity between the two ports.
The Rs. 614 crore project will improve connectivity in Gujarat
The Gujarat government body in charge of marine and ports affairs floated tenders for the project in 2011.
The project was also supported by the Centre which paid Rs. 117 crore for dredging work at both Ghogha and Dahej under the Sagarmala initiative.
Aimed at boosting connectivity and infrastructure in Gujarat, the project cost now stands at Rs. 614 crore.
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