Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off a Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira (near Surat) and Ghogha in Bhavnagar district, Gujrat, via video conference.
Speaking at the Virtual event, Modi expressed that people of Gujrat have received their Diwali gift, this ferry service will benefit everyone, will boost connectivity and economic connectivity.
It will save time and fuel, and add to ecological and religious tourism for the state and region, a PMO release said.
This ferry service will reduce 375 km long road distance to mere 90 Km sea route.
Ghogha is an old port and a fishing hamlet, and Hazira is a new greenfield commercial port.
Modi said, this connectivity will bring changes in lives of people in the region, fruits, vegetables and milk can be transported via the sea route in much shorter time and reducing carbon foot print and pollution.
This ferry service has been built at cost of Rs. 650 crores, the terminal and Hazira has been given on lease to Adani Hazira Port Private Limited. At Re. 1 per month for 11 months.
‘Voyage Symphony’, vessel commuting the Ro-Pax ferry is a three-deck vessel, with load capacity for 30 trucks, 500 passengers and 100 passenger cars, with 34 crew and hospitality staff.
Modi added, it is dream come true for people of Saurashtra and Gujarat.
Prime minister also appreciated Gujarat’s efforts in the past two decades, to realise its maritime potential and enable port-led development, and has anchored new direction to port sector, and lately Gujarat state government is working on new maritime initiatives, such as drafting shipbuilding policy, Shipbuilding park, Gujrat Maritime cluster, India’s first maritime university & first CNG terminal in Bhavnagar, and promoting vessel traffic management traffic system and new ferry connections like these, has made Gujrat gateway for development and property.
He emphasised, Maritime activity and related capacity building in state of Gujrat is in optimal swing, attempts to restart Ghogha-Dahej ferry service are being made, which is facing natural challenges, which will be solved through modern technology, Gujrat Maritime university will role in providing trained man power and experts for maritime.
Prime Minister changed Ministry of Shipping to Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Ministry of Shipping should handle ports and waterways, as is done elsewhere in world, and this will give more clarity to bureau and work as well.
He further added, India is making rapidly moving towards multi-modal connectivity, and efforts to effectively connect road, rail and aviation and waterways are done, and multimodal connectivity are being developed with neighbouring countries as well, this should will give a boost to Indian economy.