Two solar-powered Ro-Ro ferries on the anvil for Goa

PANAJI: Goa will soon have two solar-powered Ro-Ro (roll on, roll off) ferry boats along the lines of the Kerala module where such alternate energy are operational, river navigation minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar said, on Tuesday, at an event held to mark the launch of three new ferries.
“We have visited Kerala to inspect the ferry boats there that run on solar energy. It is a very effective system and we will be implementing the same within one year. The tender for this will be floated in the current financial year, 2018-19,” he said, speaking at the launch of the new ferry boats, Agapur, Malar and , at the jetty.

In May 2017, TOI had reported that the government is in the process of introducing Ro-Ro ferries, which are bigger sized ferries with two ramps and two engines that can go to-and-fro from one jetty to another without the need to turn around.

The total cost of the newly procured ferries is Rs 1.9 crore.

“We have decided to ply the new ferries on the Chorao to Ribandar, Madkai to Cortalim and Panaji to Betim routes. Even though the distance between Panaji and Betim is shorter compared to the other two routes, the number of passengers on this route are very high,” he said.

On an average, there are about 11,000 commuters and over 5,000 two-wheelers travelling on the ferry route every day.

Dhavalikar said that more ferries cannot be added on the Panaji-Betim route owing to navigational issues due to casinos and other marine traffic.

The minister has also proposed that ferry services be started on new routes like Aldona to Panaji and Sanvordem to Panaji.

He added that there are three long routes in Goa that require additional ferry boats — Ribandar to Chorao, Madkai to Cortalim and Durbhat to Cortalim.

“Old ferries will be auctioned and replaced to accommodate new ones. One of the new ferries will have a double engine and will operate on a long route so that in case of a breakdown the ferry can be operated on the other engine,” he said.

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