The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways(MoPSW) has constituted a High-Level Committee headed by Sanjay K. Mehta (SK Mehta), Chairman of Deendayal Port Authority (DPA), Gandhidham, Gujarat, to draft the revised guidelines for the operation of Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) and Roll on-Passenger (Ro-Pax) ferry service.
- The committee would also simultaneously draft the Model Concession Agreement for Ro-Ro / Ro-Pax Terminal Operator and a Model License Agreement for the Operation of Ro-Ro/ Ro-Pax/ Fast Passenger Ferry.
This aims to promote and develop Ro-Ro ferry transportation ecosystem.
- Compared to the traditional modes of transportation, the Ro-Ro Ferry transportation offers various advantages like shorter trip distances, lower logistics costs and less pollution.
This is one of the key initiatives and reforms pushed by the Ministry under its Sagarmala Programme to strengthen India’s socio-economic and regulatory environment.
i.Under the Sagarmala Programme, MoPSW operationalised the Ro-Pax Ferry service between Ghogha – Hazira in Gujarat and Mumbai – Mandwa in Maharashtra.
ii.These Ro Pax services have transported more than 24.15 lakh passengers and 4.58 lakh cars and 36.3 thousand trucks, contributing towards a clean environment and public welfare.
iii.In June 2022, The MoPSW prepared and circulated ‘Draft Guidelines for operationalization of Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax ferry service along the coast of India’ for the stakeholders with an aim to standardize and streamline the development and operation of the services.
- Following the suggestions received from public and private stakeholders and with a vision to set up world-class infrastructure and services all along the coastline, The MoPSW has constituted this high-level committee.
Functions of the committee:
i.The committee will examine and analyse the ground realities like safety standards of vessels, control mechanism on excess boarding of passengers/cargo, online ticketing system, revenue accounting/ sharing mechanism, statutory clearances, exclusivity periods, the inclusion of new & emerging technologies to prepare a structured document which will eliminate unnecessary delays, disagreements facilitate the smooth and safe operation of the Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax ferry service.
- This will enhance the ease of doing business among all stakeholders and attract more domestic and international businesses to invest and do business in India.
ii.The committee will formulate and streamline the future Roadmap of Ro-Pax Ferry development in India.
iii.It wil also implement the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to harness the waterways and integrate them with the economic development of India.
Under the Sagarmala Programme, the MoPSW will support 51 projects worth around Rs 1900 crore to boost urban water transportation services in India.
10 among these 51 projects, worth around Rs 500 crore, have already been completed.
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About Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways(MoPSW):
Union Minister– Sarbananda Sonowal(Constituency- Rajya Sabha- Assam)
Minister of State– Shantanu Thakur (Constituency- Bangaon, West Bengal); Shripad Yesso Naik (Constituency- North Goa, Goa)