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March 4, 2024

MoPSW Aims To Expand The RO-RO/RO-Pax Ferry Service

By Aakanksha Nigam

Along India’s coastline, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) aim to expand the RO-RO/RO-Pax ferry service, which will link numerous major and minor ports.

The Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off) ship is a ship that transports wheeled cargo, such as automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, trailers, and railroad cars. The vehicles are either driven onto and off the ship on their own wheels or on platform vehicles, such as self-propelled modular trucks.

When in port, RORO vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps or ferry slips that easily roll the cargo onto and off of the vessel. Even while smaller ferries that go over rivers and other short distances frequently have built-in ramps, the word “RORO” is typically only used to describe substantial oceangoing ships.

The First Ro-Ro ferry service in India was inaugurated in October 2017, the ferry service worked between Ghogha and Dahej in Gujarat. It was South Asia’s first world-class ferry service.

Commonly used all across North America and Europe, the Ro-Ro ferry service is often seen as a game-changer for the transportation of goods and passengers in India.

Additionally, the first Ro-Pax ferry operated between Dahej and Ghogha in Bharuch. It was also launched in October 2017. Basically, Ro-Pax is a RORO vessel designed for both passenger travel and the transportation of freight vehicles. Technically, this includes all ferries with roll-on/roll-off car decks and passenger carrying capacities, but in fact, cruise ferries are frequently ships with facilities for more than 500 passengers.

The development and operation of RO-RO/RO-Pax terminals are said to be carried out with private investment at both major and minor ports and since the current terminal is being developed or is being used for RO-RO/RO-Pax operations, the concessioning authority must grant a concession operation and maintenance contract to the concessionaire.

It is through private participation between specific Origin-Destination pairs that RO-RO/RO-Pax ferry services are operated, and route licenses are required.

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