(file photo)

Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flag off Ro-Pax service  between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat on November 8, 2020, at 11 am via video conferencing. 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 Prime Minister will also interact with local users of the service during the event. Union MoS for Shipping and Chief Minister of Gujarat will also be present on the occasion.

The Ro-Pax Terminal being inaugurated at Hazira is of 100 meters length and 40 meters width, with cost implications of approx. Rs 25 crore. The terminal has wide ranging facilities including administrative office building, parking area, sub-station, and water tower etc.

The Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel ‘Voyage Symphony’ is a three deck vessel with deadweight tonnage (DWT) 2,500-2,700 MT, with displacement of 12,000 to 15,000 GT. It has a load capacity of 30 trucks (of 50 MT each) on the main deck, 100 passengers cars on the upper deck, and 500 passengers plus 34 crew & hospitality staff on the passenger deck, according to a PIB release.

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 kKm 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 9,000 litres per day) and lower the maintenance cost of vehicles drastically.

The ferry service while making 3 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 fatigue of the truck drivers and enhance their incomes by giving them more opportunity to do extra trips. It will also lead to reduction in CO2 emission by approximately 24 MT per day.

It will give an impetus to the tourism industry with ease of access to Saurashtra region and lead to creation of new job opportunities. With the start of Ferry services, the port sector, furniture, and fertiliser 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 increased inflow of tourists to the famous Asiatic lion wildlife sanctuary at Gir.