THE MULTI-CORRIDOR INLAND WATER TRANSPORT SYSTEM (ITW) FERRY SERVICES TO START FROM KALYAN TO THANE TO VASAI IN DECEMBER 2018

Date : March 14, 2019

THE MULTI-CORRIDOR INLAND WATER TRANSPORT SYSTEM (ITW) FERRY SERVICES TO START FROM KALYAN TO THANE TO VASAI IN DECEMBER 2018

The residents commuting from Kalyan to Vasai in jam-packed trains or via road with heavy traffic congestion might soon get a big relief with the Ferry Services planned to be started from December 2018.The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) ambitious plans of providing an pollution free, eco-friendly, less crowded, fuel saving, faster and cheaper Multi-Corridor Inland Water Transport System(ITW) is progressing fast. The TMC has recently announced that the first phase of ferry services from Kalyan-Thane to Vasai will be made operational by the end of December 2018. Residents of Kalyan and Vasai can now cover the 47-kilometre distance between the two cities in just 70 minutes, this includes the boarding and alighting time and a proposed ticket price of Rs29 and it will be the cheapest mode of public transport.

The Multi-Corridor Inland Water Transport System (ITW) is aimed at easing congestion in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and to reduce the stress on the land environment. The TMC is the nodal agency for its development and will also include passengers Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) Services along with associated facilities and amenities. Three types of terminals are proposed along the Vasai Creek –Ulhas River route and some of the passenger jetties are proposed to be designed to handle Ro-Ro vessels that carry passengers as well as vehicles.

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has envisaged to implement the Inland Water Transport (IWT) System in three phases. The first phase will be from Kalyan to Thane to Vasai, the second from Thane to Mumbai and the third phase will be from Thane to Navi Mumbai. The presence of the dense Ulhas River, the Thane Creek and the coastal network offers viability for developing an inland water transport system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The Thane creek that connects the Arabian Sea towards South Mumbai and Ulhas River (Vasai Creek) on other side connecting Kalyan to Thane and Vasai creek has already been declared as a Flamingo Sanctuary in 2015. This was done to secure the ecology around Mumbai city by saving and conserving Mangroves, Flora Faunas and also as a new natural tourist attraction to public in a systematic way.

The detailed project report (DPR) for the first phase has already been submitted to the Central government, and the approval for the DPR is expected anytime now. Costing Rs 600 crores the first phase of the project is funded by the Central government and TMC is the implementing agency.

As informed by TMC the first phase will have ten jetties across Kalyan, Thane, Mira Bhayander and Vasai. Three jetties at Nagla, Kolshet and Parsik will be developed first by the corporation. Since the Thane Creek runs into the Arabian Sea, the first phase of water transport was extended to Vasai and Mira Bhayander. This route is termed as National Waterway-53.

According to Mr.Sanjeev Jaiswal, theThane Civic Commissioner this is the only water transport project which has received 100 per cent funding. If the state and Centre agree, TMC is ready to be the implementing agency for phase 1. TMC plans to develop a multi-modal hub in Kolshet, while a vessel manufacturing unit is contemplated to be built at Palghar. The Goa and Cochin shipyards will consult them regarding the vessels that can be used for water transport. The TMC will be spending approximately Rs 40 crores for dredging the creek. The fuel used for water transport will be environment-friendly bio-fuel.

The Multi-Corridor Inland Water Transport System (ITW) will thus be a socially beneficial project that will not only save commuting time, but will be the cheapest mode of public transport, will reduce environmental pollution and create new job opportunities.

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