Economic growth, as financial pundits tend to say, gets enhanced by better connectivity. Alibaug is fast emerging as the luxe-leisure spot in Mumbai’s vicinity, and premium real estate development is all set to make its presence felt, economic growth will get a boost as enhanced connectivity through Roll-On Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry based connectivity reduces the travel time, and brings Alibaug closer to Mumbai.
Growth of tourism in the Alibaug region has been one of the key initiatives of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and various steps to enhance connectivity between Mumbai and the jetty at Mandwa have been announced by the state government, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani Founder & CMD – Hiranandani Communities & National President – NAREDCO. The passenger terminal at Ferry Wharf for east coast inland water transport to Mandwa (Alibaug) is 'work in progress', and is expected to be completed in 2018. Roll on – Roll off ferry services, which will enable taking cars across from Mumbai – Alibaug will make things easier.
“Leisure, if defined as absence of ‘work’, in terms of Real Estate developments translates into the segment of weekend or second homes where one relaxes and is it leisure – i.e. residential, not being the ‘first home’,” said Dr Niranjan Hiranandani. “The economic success of any leisure themed location depends upon smooth connectivity. Alibaug offers everything that the prominent leisure destination on India’s west coast, Goa has: sun, sand and the sea. It is located just a few hour’s drive from Mumbai, and once the Ro-Ro ferry starts operations between South Mumbai (SoBo) and Alibaug, it will become even closer,” he added.
From Mumbai through Alibaug and beyond, in the Konkan Region, water linkages over the years have been restricted to passenger ferry services based on launches – but things are all set to change. Catamarans and Ferries along with new jetties and road connectivity will provide Mumbai and its neighbouring coastal areas with Ro-Ro ferry based connectivity, and water transport will be the infrastructure linkage that will ensure connectivity between South Mumbai and Alibaug.
“Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced that sea-based Ro-Ro services would link South Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Alibaug; and that the services would start by end-2018. He added that the provision in this regard had been made in the new ports policy, which apart from ferries, also mentions catamaran and hovercraft services. This is definitely good news, and once this project being completed as per schedule, connectivity between South Mumbai and Alibaug will translate into a few minutes across the sea,” said Dr Niranjan Hiranandani.
Navi Mumbai and Panvel along with Alibaug have potential to develop into an economic powerhouse, and this sort of connectivity will provide a fillip to the positives that the Navi Mumbai Airport will bring to the region.
In terms of enhanced connectivity, for a coastal city like Mumbai, the sea-based Ro-Ro services for connectivity to Mandwa would be an apt option, rather than the long, circuitous drive from SoBo via Sion and Panvel.
“From the perspective of connectivity between South Mumbai and Alibaug, the Ro-Ro ferry would be ideal; Mumbaikars could drive onto the Ro-Ro ferries at the New Ferry Wharf and a short sail later, drive off at Mandwa, bringing the hinterland of Alibaug closer to Mumbaikars. Better connectivity will result in higher tourism, giving the region’s development as also the state’s economy a fillip,” said Dr Niranjan Hiranandani.
It is not just leisure and tourism which will get a fillip; water-based transport linkages like the Ro-Ro would also result in better connectivity between Mumbai and other destinations in the Konkan region, through Mandwa/ Alibaug, said Dr Niranjan Hiranandani. “The Hon’ble Chief Minister said that water transport linking South Mumbai with Nerul will enhance connectivity with the Navi Mumbai airport,” he added.
Infrastructure growth in form of better connectivity, which includes new jetties, ferries and road linkages, will help develop coastal areas in Maharashtra from the economic perspective, while also giving a fillip to tourism development. This has the potential to create new development hubs in the Konkan region – while ensuring that Alibaug benefits from enhanced connectivity to South Mumbai,” he concluded.
Niranjan Hiranandani is Founder & MD, Hiranandani Group, his recent initiative is Hiranandani Communities. He is the President, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), which works under the aegis of Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.