MPT to start Ro Ro service

| 20 April 2001 23:25 IST

The Mormugao Port Trust is planning a special berth for a roll on - roll off service, known more popularly as Ro Ro service, through the Arabian sea from Goa to Mumbai.

Rather than loading general cargo, the berth would provide a service to put loaded trucks and even passenger cars on board, saving the fuel and depreciation cost of the vehicles while also avoiding other risks confronted on the road.

The Konkan Railway Corporation has launched the similar service along the same route, which has gained quite a good response so far.

The MPT has thought of it as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust of Mumbai is also planning for a similar service.

The project worth around Rs 15 crore is part of a bigger plan to develop the Vasco Bay behind the port town, investing around Rs 165 crore on BOT basis, while expecting at least Rs 95 crore from the private sector.

"Some of the fishing companies have expressed willingness to take up the project", states Dr Jose Paul, the MPT chairman. He would be shortly placing before the board of trustees the final report by M/s Frederic R Harris (India) Pvt Ltd, after which it would be forwarded to the concerned ministries for environmental clearance.

The ambitious project also includes construction of two more general cargo berths, a fishing jetty, a jetty for port crafts and yet another jetty for the Coast Guard. The ministry for agriculture, the Coast Guard as well as the MPT is also thus investing the balance amount into it.

The port authorities expect to complete the project in next three years, provided all the environmental clearances are sought within one year.

Besides this, another private project of two more berths 5A and 6A is expected to be operational by November next year. The project worth Rs 250 crore has been licenced to M/s ABG Port Ltd for a period of 30 years. It would handle around 5 MT of coal and other general cargo annually.

The MPT's yet another prestigious project worth Rs 80 crore to construct the 18 km-long four-lane highway from Verna to Harbour is also expected to be completed by December next year. The Border Roads Organisation has already completed four kms stretch of it.

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