Newly-launched water taxi to start service between Belapur and Mandwa this weekend

The newly-launched water taxi Nayan XI in Mumbai will begin weekend-only services between Belapur and Mandwa starting Saturday, November 26.

According to the operator, Nayantara Shipping Private Limited, the water taxi will depart from Belapur at 8 am and arrive at Mandwa at 9.15 am. The service from Mandwa will be at 6 pm and it will arrive at Belapur at 7:45 pm via the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCW) ferry wharf. The ticket price will be Rs 300 for executive class and Rs 400 for business class.

When Nayan XI began services earlier this month, it was running ferries only from DCT to Mandwa. However, it has now decided to cater to more available routes to draw footfall and generate revenue.

The Nayan XI vessel from Goa is completely air-conditioned, with two washrooms on the upper and four on the lower deck. It has a seating capacity of 140 on the lower deck and 60 on the upper/ business class deck. It is the first high-speed double-deck steady catamaran of its size in Mumbai that is capable of cruising across the ocean. The newly launched vessel’s speed can go up to 22 knots and it sails at 15 knots between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Water taxi services began in Mumbai in February this year. However, Nayan XI is the first and only service from the domestic cruise terminal. Currently, other operators are running to and fro rides between Belapur, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Elephanta Caves.

The return journey ticket from Belapur to Elephanta costs Rs 750 per person. The cost is Rs 500 between Belapur and JNPT. The operators are witnessing 70 to 80 per cent occupancy on each trip on these two routes.

According to Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA), the high cost of Rs 1,210 is also another deterrent for passengers wishing to travel from Ferry Wharf to Belapur. There is also a demand from authorities to the state government to subsidise ticket rates to make water transport affordable for commuters.

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