Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd (EBTL), part of ports business of Essar, today said that it a new cruise route from Hazira to Diu was launched from its passenger ferry terminal at Hazira Port, thus revolutionizing coastal transportation across the western coast of India and giving a boost to coastal tourism for the people of Gujarat.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways & Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India flagged off the Ferry service at passenger terminal in Hazira through virtual presence. Under the Maritime Vision 2030, we are aiming for more than 350 cruise ships, 3000 plus cruise calls per annum, more than 3 cruise training academies and 5 million cruise passengers by 2030. We are taking all-round steps to create perfect ecosystem for cruise industry. The passenger ferry service has seen a giant leap with the development Hazira as a cruise tourism hub. This will also open up many opportunities for the tourism sector of Gujarat.”
Jai Sofia, a cruise cum passenger ferry vessel with a capacity of 300 passengers will now sail in the inaugural route from Hazira to Diu. The vessel has all the facilities on board and provides a bouquet of services on board. The ferry services are being operated by SSR Marine Services Private Ltd
Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director – Essar Ports said, “This is a big milestone for us. The Ferry Terminal was commissioned in record time and the ferry services through it are a significant addition to air, road, and rail-based connectivity along Indian coastline. It is part of our strategic plan to reduce congestion on roads, cut fuel consumption and limit air pollution. In future we would like to add more services and connections which will reduce the time of travel and at the same time minimize impact on environment. The new route to Diu will serve as an outlet for recreation for the people of Gujarat and boost the Cruise/ Ferry sector in Maritime Space”.
EBTL has made arrangements to launch the ferry services and shall follow World Health Organization recommended guidelines to ensure that the ferry operations are done in a safe and healthy environment. EBTL took charge of designing and constructing the facility, which includes both marine structures, like landing platform, passenger walkway and floating pontoon, as well as shore-based facilities, like a terminal building, cafeteria and vehicle parking area.