Giving a push to tourism development, the Maharashtra government on Monday approved developing a jetty and passenger terminal near Radio Club in South Mumbai.
The new facility will come up for boat rides to Elephanta Island, Alibag and Mandwa. The project will help in decongesting the existing jetty and passenger terminal at the Gateway of India, a popular tourism destination in the country. The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) said they will start the tendering process for the ₹100-crore project soon.
“The state government is approving the development of a jetty, passenger terminal and other facilities near Radio Club on the condition that it is going to be approved under the Sagarmala scheme,” states the order issued by the state home department on Monday.
The existing jetty at Gateway of India is badly congested as 30-35 lakh passengers travel in a year.
MMB had proposed extension of the jetty many years ago, but was opposed by the Indian Navy over security reasons. It has also suggested an alternative of developing a jetty near Radio Club. Following suggestions, the proposal was moved by MMB in 2016, said officials from MMB.
“With this approval, a long-pending project has been cleared. We will now send it to the Centre to approve under the Sagarmala scheme. The Centre and the state will have to bear the cost of the project equally in the scheme. In the meantime, the tendering process is going to be started and work order can be issued once approved by the Centre,” said Ramaswami N, chief executive officer (CEO) MMB.
Officials said that the jetty will come up around 200 metres from the Radio Club. It will have a walkway with link-span, a type of drawbridge used mainly in the operation of moving vehicles on and off a Ro-Ro vessel or ferry, and pontoon. The jetty will also have around eight berths and a parking lot.
“We have all clearances in place, including the environmental clearance. The state government has already allocated a sum of ₹50 crore for the project in the 2021-22 budget,” Ramaswami said.
He added that the erstwhile government too had made a provisional allocation of ₹5 crore, but the project could not be cleared due to some reasons.