Posted on April 11, 2017
By Dhaval Kulkarni, DNA
In a boost to development of anchorage and berthing facilities for yachts and pleasure boats, the Maharashtra government is looking at five sites, including three in Mumbai for constructing marinas. The locations being considered for the marinas — which have facilities for sheltered anchoring and mooring for speed boats, luxury boats and yachts — include Bandra, Versova, Borivli, Mandwa (Raigad) and Belapur (Navi Mumbai). The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) is also considering using this waterfront for water sports, floatels and cruises.
The state government is interested in developing marinas in proximity to Mumbai considering its access to the harbour. At present, India has just one operational marina — the Kochi International Marina in Kerala.
“We are planning to float an expression of interest (EOI) for construction of marinas at different places and will explore the potential of sites at Bandra, Mandwa, Versova, Borivli and Belapur,” Atul Patne, chief executive officer, MMB told DNA.
“There is a lot of potential here and each site can berth around 50 boats… this will not be meant only for the yachts of millionaires but also consist of various other facilities like water sports, houseboats, cruise terminals, catamarans for cruises, facilities for walks and even ampitheatres which can be used by common people,” added Patne. He noted that they would also explore if the mangroves around these marinas could be used for walks and tours for to boost tourism. The Bandra site is located near the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL) where the MMB has around 10 acre land. The board is also planning to construct a jetty for the dedicated use of the Coast Guard and Marine Police along with provisions for a water ambulance. The land at the Belapur site has been handed over to the MMB by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), said Patne.
This development will be undertaken in private public partnership (PPP) mode with development rights being given to those private bidders who resolve to give the highest premium to the Maritime Board.
These proposed marinas will help decongest the present anchorage near the Gateway of India, which is also a security threat considering its proximity with defence establishments.
Apart from helping the uber-wealthy anchor their vessels, these facilities will serve as tourist destinations. They will also boost economic activity by creating opportunities for ancillary businesses like ship repair and maintenance facilities. Despite being a coastal state with two major ports — the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — Maharashtra has not exploited the potential of its 720-km coastline to develop facilities like ports, marinas and captive jetties.