MUMBAI’s water taxi services promising connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will be inaugurated on Thursday by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The inaugural event will take place virtually. As Thackeray will inaugurate the newly constructed jetty at Belapur, Sonowal will flag water taxi services. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will also attend the ceremony along with Minister of Urban Development Eknath Shinde.
A central agency and two state agencies – the Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) and CIDCO – worked in tandem on the project.
According to officials, works on the Belapur jetty started in January 2019 and the project was completed in September 2021 at a cost of Rs 8.37 crore. The jetty was built under the Sagarmala program with equal funding from the Center and the state government. It has parking for 75 cars and 85 two-wheelers. An official said that so far three water taxi routes have been finalized to start water taxi services between the domestic cruise terminal at Ferry Wharf Mazgaon in South Mumbai and the terminals at Belapur, Navi Mumbai, Belapur and Elephanta Caves, and Belapur and JNPT. .
An MMB official said four operators will provide the services and use speedboats for water taxis and catamarans for public transport. The water taxi service is being started with eight boats, including seven speedboats with a capacity of 10 to 30 passengers each and a catamaran with a capacity of 56.
Regarding fares, an official said, “One of the operators is charging Rs 290 between DCT and Belapur via catamaran and there will also be a monthly pass of Rs 12,000 for the same route. The catamarans will reach their destination in 40-50 minutes.
The inland water department will cut travel time from 1.5 hours to 45 minutes, officials said.