Mumbai Port Trust and Maharashtra Maritime Board have begun a ROPAX service from Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf) to Mandwa, Alibaug. About 15-lakh passengers travel annually by catamarans and launches from Gateway of India to Mandwa. However, with the launch of ROPAX, commuters can now travel in their cars directly to Alibaug. According to the officials of MbPT, this mode of water transport, under Eastern Waterfront Development project, will cut down a gruelling road journey of 3 to 4 hours to mere one hour by waterway. According to Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, MbPT, ROPAX service will reduce fuel consumption and vehicular emission.
As a part of this project, MbPT has developed ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Bhaucha Dhakka, whereas MMB has developed breakwater, ROPAX jetty and terminal facilities at Mandwa. The ROPAX Vessel can carry 200 cars and 1,000 passengers at a time and has a ramp on both sides, hence cars can move in and out of the vessel easily and reduce the turn- around time.