Ahead of the ‘Maritime India Summit’ 2021, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has signed 13 different Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements worth ₹7,510 crore in a bid to boost water transport and tourism in the city. In a press conference on Wednesday, MbPT chairman Rajiv Jalota said that MoUs worth ₹12,000 crore more are also in the pipeline.
The agreements include starting water taxis from the domestic cruise terminal (DCT) in South Mumbai for ₹75 crore, introducing harbour cruise tourism for ₹15 crore, developing a marina for ₹370 crore, and shipbuilding and allied activities for ₹1300 crore among other agreements. In talks for decades now, MbPT is looking at starting water taxi services from South Mumbai to Belapur and Nerul soon.
“We are looking at starting the services soon. Initially, we will start with 10-50 seater vessels, following which it can be increased as per the response,” said Jalota. The plan also includes services to Rewas and Kashid. A senior official from MbPT said that the charges would range between ₹300- ₹400. “The idea is that it should be in a similar range as normal taxis, otherwise people would not prefer water transport,” the official said.
MbPT is also planning Mumbai’s first marina for 300 yachts on 8.02 hectares land near the DCT. Jalota also said that MbPT will complete the Mumbai international cruise terminal project by the end of this year. MbPT aims to transform Mumbai into a cruise tourism hotspot catering to 15 lakh cruise passengers by the end of 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the virtual ‘Maritime India Summit’ to be held between March 2-4. Jalota said that the summit would prove to be a powerful platform to explore business opportunities in the maritime sector. Around 20,000 delegates from 40 countries are expected to take part in the summit, which will look at different themes like shipbuilding, repairs and recycling, inland water transport, coastal shipping, tourism among others.
Source: Hindustan Times