Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Phase 1 of the ‘roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat on Sunday.
The ro-ro ferry will ply the Gulf of Khambhat between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat.
Ghogha situated in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra lies 17 nautical miles (32 km), across the gulf from Dahej in Bharuch district.
- A first of its kind in India, the ferry will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two ports.
- The ro-ro ferry services are vessels made to carry wheeled cargo that are driven on and off the ferry on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle. The wheeled cargo includes, cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars.
The term ro-ro is generally reserved for large ocean-going vessels. The vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port.
This ferry service project cost stands at Rs 614 crore. The central government has allocated Rs 117 crore for dredging work at both Ghogha and Dahej under the Sagarmala initiative. PM Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project in January 2012, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
The service shall reduce the travel time between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat, from about seven or eight hours, to just over an hour. When fully operationalised, it will also enable movement of vehicles. The ferry service is aimed at boosting the connectivity and infrastructure in Gujarat.