Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flag off Ro-Pax service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat on November 8 at 11 am via video conferencing.
According to an official release, these initiatives mark a major step towards the Prime Minister’s vision of harnessing waterways and integrating them with the economic development of the country. The release stated that the Ro-Pax Terminal being inaugurated at Hazira is of 100 meters length and 40 meters width, with cost implications of around Rs 25 crores. The terminal has wide-ranging facilities including an administrative office building, parking area, substation and water tower.
“The Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel ‘Voyage Symphony’ is a three decks vessel with DWT 2500-2700 MT, with the displacement of 12000 to 15000 GT. 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 & hospitality staff on the passenger deck,” the release said.
There will be several wide-ranging benefits of the Hazira-Ghogha Ro-Pax ferry service. It will work as a Gateway to South Gujarat and Saurashtra region. 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 4 hours will result in huge savings of fuel (approx 9000 litres per day) and lower the maintenance cost of vehicles drastically.
“The ferry service, while making three round trips/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 the truck drivers and enhance their incomes by giving them more opportunities to do extra trips. It will also lead to a reduction in CO2 emission by approximately 24 MT per day and net saving of approximately 8653 MT per annum,” the release 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. Eco-tourism and religious-tourism in Gujarat, especially in Porbandar, Somnath, Dwarka and Palitana will grow exponentially.
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, the release said.