New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flag off the Ro-Pax service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat through video conferencing on Sunday.This marks a big step towards the Prime Minister's vision of harnessing waterways and integrating them with the economic development of the country. He will also interact with local users of the service during the event.100 meter long and 40 meter wide Ro-Pax terminal, constructed with the cost implications of approximately Rs 25 crore, has facilities like administrative office building, parking area, substation and water tower."The Ro-Pax Ferry Vessel 'Voyage Symphony' is a three decks vessel with DWT 2,500-2,700 MT, with displacement of 12,000 to 15,000 GT. It has a load capacity of 30 trucks (of 50 MT each) on the main deck, 100 passenger cars on the upper deck and 500 passengers plus 34 crew & hospitality staff on the passenger deck," said a government statement.This ferry service will work as a Gateway to South Gujarat and Saurashtra region. It will also reduce the distance between the two places from 370 km to just 90 km.The reduced cargo travel time from 10 to 12 hours to about four hours will also result in huge savings of fuel which is estimated to be around 9,000 litre per day and lower the maintenance cost of vehicles drastically.The ferry service, while making three round trips every day on the Hazira-Ghogha route, would annually transport about five lakh passengers, 80,000 passenger vehicles, 50,000 two-wheelers and 30,000 trucks.The reduction of Carbon dioxide emission by approximately 24 MT per day will also mean net saving of approximately 8,653 MT per annum. It is also seen to have the potential to give an impetus to the tourism industry with ease of access to Saurashtra region and lead to creation of new job opportunities.With the onset of Ferry services, the port sector, furniture and fertilizer industries in Saurashtra and Kutch region will get a big boost. Eco-tourism and religious-tourism in Gujarat, especially in Porbandar, Somnath, Dwarka and Palitana will grow exponentially. The benefits of enhanced connectivity through this ferry service will also result in increased inflow of tourists in the famous Asiatic lion wildlife sanctuary at Gir.Union Minister of State for Shipping and Chief Minister of Gujarat will also be present on the occasion.
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