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Ferry service between Surat-Mumbai commences operation(Eds: Adding more details)

Ahmedabad, Nov 15(PTI) The Gujarat Maritime Board(GMB) has announced that cruise-based passenger ferry servicebetween Surat and Mumbai has commenced successfully on Friday.

The Mumbai-based SSR Marine Services have beenpermitted by the Gujarat government to operate a cruise linerbetween Hazira port in Surat and Bandra-Worli sea link inMumbai, GMB said in a statement.

The cruise liner was flagged off from Essar HaziraFerry Terminal in Surat today, the statement said.

In a release, Essar Ports said it has completed workon the Passenger Ferry Terminal at Hazira in Surat. It addedthat the terminal has paved the way for a cruise-basedpassenger ferry service, commencing today, between Hazira Portin Surat and Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.

The terminal has been built in record eight months, itadded.

'Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd (EBTL), a part of Essar Portshas completed work on the Passenger Ferry Terminal that haspaved the way for a cruise-based passenger ferry service,commencing today, between Hazira Port in Surat and Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. The Hazira-based terminal will alsolead to ferry services being offered on other routes in thefuture,' Essar Ports said in a statement.

Phase I of the terminal project will focus on themovement of passengers between Hazira in Surat and Mumbai. Thecompany said it plans to extend the service to other coastallocations in Gujarat.

'The ferry service will be a huge boost to tourism inGujarat. We look forward to contributing to similar projectsthat will help unleash the tremendous potential of coastaltransport in India by using the country's extensive network ofinland waterways,' said Rajiv Agarwal, MD and CEO, EssarPorts.

The company said the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) hadgiven its permission to EBTL to develop and operate apassenger ferry terminal at Hazira, where the company alsooperates a 50 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) dry bulk cargoterminal.

Essar Ports is a private sector port and terminaldeveloper and operator. PTI PJT PDAP AP