Undertaking the biggest-ever dredging activity in its 30-year history of the Board, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has begun preparations to implement the Ro-Ro Ferry project connecting Gogha in Bhavnagar with Dahej, located on the opposite side of Gulf of Khambhat in Bharuch district.
According to GMB sources, over three million cubic metres of dredging may be required to make the Board’s ambitious project a success. Tenders for the project, worth Rs. 115 crores, has already been floated as part of the Rs. 400-crore ferry project that attempts to provide cheaper, faster and convenient transportation between Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions.
GMB, the nodal agency for all maritime activities in Gujarat, plans to attract national and international dredging companies in the project. The Board has planned to hold a special seminar in Mumbai on June 5, to promote the dredging project.
The GMB’s dredging project entails creation of new “channels” in the Gulf of Khambhat that will be about 100 metres in width. The channel’s length will be about 4,300 metres at Ghogha and 6,000 metres in Dahej and the channels would have a draft of about five metres. The vessels that will use these channels are designed to carry passengers and vehicles of all types with special attention to trucks and cars.
Vessels that will have a carrying capacity of 500 passengers and 100-150 vehicles are expected to ply on this route, GMB officials told Sagar Sandesh.
These vessels would need a maximum draft of 4.5 metres and can move at a speed of 22 knots (40 km/hour).