Inland Waterways and Cruise Tourism India making it’s way….

For any country, to become a global economic power it’s maritime sector is one of the most important factors. It not only includes the international trade through shipping but also the offshore and inland water transport. They provide the backbone to the maritime trade and drastically lower the transportation cost. Even passenger ferry services and cruise liner gives thousands of new job opportunity to maritime sector people. Although the Inland Waterways Authority of India was formed in 1986, our country of 1.25 billion population was very far to understand and incorporate these concepts till now. In a series of our blogs, we have already explained the importance of inland waterways development for India. But recent efforts by the Government of India to boost this sector is applauded by people. So, let us have a look at some of these new initiatives……

RO-Pax service between Ghogha and Dahej

A first of its kind in India, the Ro-Ro ferry will be able to carry up to one hundred vehicles (cars, buses, and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports. The Ro-Ro ferry services area unit vessels made to carry wheeled cargo that is driven on and off the ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. The wheeled or roll on roll off cargo includes cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars. Although this is quite famous in Kochi, for very shorter distance only.

On last Sunday Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated phase one of this ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat. Ghogha situated in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra lies seventeen nautical miles (32 km), across the gulf from Dahej in Bharuch district. The ro-ro ferry will ply the Gulf of Khambhat(in Gulf of Kutchh) between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat.

The service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to only over an hour. the distance between the two places would be reduced to 31 kilometers from the current distance of 360 kilometers. Within a few days of service, this project is getting a good response from its passenger which also includes truck driver, motorcyclist, car passengers etc.

The total ferry service project cost around Rs 614 crore. The central government has allotted Rs 117 crore for dredging work on each Ghogha and Dahej under the Sagarmala initiative. It is a Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model investment by Indigo Seaways, Government and Gujrat Maritime Board. The Gujarat Maritime Board in charge of marine and ports affairs along the state’s 1,600-kilometer coastline.

Container Vessel in National Waterways

 

India’s first river container vessel MV Rabindranath Tagore is transporting as many as 16 containers, which is equivalent to 16 truckloads through the Ganga river. This movement on the Ganga river (National Waterways-I) began on 30th of October. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) transported the container cargo of PepsiCo (India), from Kolkata to Varanasi. The container vessel can reach Varanasi within the next 9 to 10 days. The vessel will make its return journey with fertilizers from IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant, nearby Allahabad.

The Government of India is developing the National Waterways in river Ganga(NW 1). It is being developed under Jal Marg Vikas Project form Haldia to Varanasi, covering a distance of 1,390 km with a multi-modal hub to promote river transport. The development of multi-modal hubs will lead to a considerable increase in the volume of cargo movement in Ganga. The total cost of this project is estimated to be around Rs 5,369 crore, with the financial and technical assistance from the World Bank. This project would allow commercial navigation of vessels with a capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 DWT.
According to IWAI officials, the container cargo transport allows for an easier modal shift, reduces handling cost, decreases pilferage and damage, besides enabling cargo owners to lessen their carbon footprints.

Angriya luxury cruise from Mumbai to Goa

Angriya India’s first domestic luxury cruise liner has started operations from this month. The journey onboard Cruise, which plies between the favored Mumbai-Goa route, begins with a panoramic view of sunset within the Arabian Sea and ends 14 hours later with another spectacular sight of sunrise on the Konkan coast of Goa. The cruise departs from Mumbai’s Victoria Docks at 4 pm and arrives at Goa’s Mormugao Cruise Terminal at 9 am the next day. The return journey from Goa begins at 4 pm and ends at 9 am the day after. Tourists during their journey can feast on international cuisine at exquisite restaurants and bars, enjoy dance and music at the lounge, celebrate at the infinity pool, click selfies at the open deck space.

Although the Government is not directly involved with this project, the recent push to boost the cruise tourism make it viable. This will give a budget experience of cruise to Indian and also provide employment opportunities. Angariya(formally Ogasa) is a 20 year old Japanese vessel that once ferried passenger from Tokyo to the islands of Ogasawara. The interior of the ship was very well designed which will give you a feeling of star cruise. On her maiden voyage, the Captain of the cruise conducted the wedding of Prabir and Sayali Correa, a Mumbai couple.

The cruise has six decks and total 104 cabins, can accommodate 399 passengers at a time. The tickets for the cruise are priced between Rs. 7,000 and Rs. 12,000 per person. It will run four times a week except during monsoons.

 

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Abhishek Kumar

He is working as an engineer in Fleet Management Ltd. He is alumni of Marine Engineering & Research Institute (MERI) Mumbai. He loves writing blog & exploring new places. Specialty: Tankers and Bulk Ship

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