Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday flag off a Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat and inaugurate a terminal for it, giving a boost to efforts to harness waterways and integrate them with the economic development of the country.
Prime Minister Modi will also interact with local users of the roll-on/roll-off passenger service (Ro-Pax) during the event, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said.
He will inaugurate the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flag off the service between Hazira and Ghogha on November 8 at 11 am through video conferencing, it said.
This marks a big step towards the prime minister’s vision of harnessing waterways and integrating them with the economic development of the country, the statement said.
Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will be present on the occasion.
The Ro-Pax Terminal being inaugurated at Hazira is 100 meters in length and 40 metres in width, with cost implications of approximately Rs 25 crore, the PMO said.
The terminal has wide-ranging facilities, including an administrative office building, a parking area, a substation, and a water tower.
The Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel ‘Voyage Symphony’ is a three-deck vessel with 2,500-2700 DWT and displacement of 12000 to 15000 GT, the statement said.
It has a load capacity of 30 trucks (of 50 MT each) on the main deck, 100 passenger cars on the upper deck, and 500 passengers plus 34 crew and hospitality staff on the passenger deck, the PMO said.
There will be several wide-ranging benefits of the Hazira-Ghogha Ro-Pax ferry service and it will work as a gateway to South Gujarat and the Saurashtra region, the statement said.
It will reduce the distance between Ghogha and Hazira from 370 km to 90 km. The reduced cargo travel time from 10 to 12 hours to about four hours will result in huge savings of fuel (approx 9,000 litres per day) and lower the maintenance cost of vehicles drastically.
The ferry service, while making three round trips per day on the Hazira-Ghogha route, would annually transport about 5 lakh passengers, 80,000 passenger vehicles, 50,000 two-wheelers, and 30,000 trucks.
It will reduce the fatigue of truck drivers and enhance their incomes by giving them more opportunities to do extra trips, the statement said.
It will give an impetus to the tourism industry with ease of access to the Saurashtra region and lead to the creation of new job opportunities.
With the onset of ferry services, the port sector, furniture, and fertilizer industries in Saurashtra and Kutch region will get a big boost, the statement said.
Eco-tourism and religious-tourism in Gujarat, especially in Porbandar, Somnath, Dwarka, and Palitana will grow exponentially, it said.
The benefits of enhanced connectivity through this ferry service will also result in an increased inflow of tourists in the famous Asiatic lion wildlife sanctuary at Gir.