Mumbai

Hovercraft service from Gateway to Belapur soon

By the year-end, residents of Navi Mumbai may be able to travel to South Mumbai in a hovercraft. The service proposed by CIDCO and Maharashtra Maritime Board from the Gateway of India to Belapur jetty will reduce the journey time between the two cities from two hours to 20 minutes.

Vikram Kumar, CEO of Maharashtra Maritime Board, said, “MOH group from Chennai has shown interest in the project and we gave them permission in August. We expect to start the service by the end of this year. They will be purchasing and running the service. This will be the country’s first hovercraft service for the public.”

Lokesh Chandra, CIDCO managing director and vice-chairman, said, “The route has been finalised by Mumbai Port, and the service is planned to start before the Navi Mumbai airport becomes functional. Depending on the response, we would increase the service and decide on the rate of the tickets. We will try and keep charges cheaper than the taxi rate.” The first phase of airport, including a runway and a terminal building, is expected to start operations from December 2019.

Mr. Kumar said the service is likely to be extended to Thane. “This project will help residents from Mumbai and Thane reach the airport with ease. If the project is successful, we will start another project to connect Nerul to Mandwa, reducing the travel time for people from Raigad.”

Mr. Chandra said, “We might also consider starting the service in Vashi. But for that we will have to first construct a jetty there.”

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 3:02:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hovercraft-service-from-gateway-to-belapur-soon/article24866784.ece

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