Even as Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik plans for water ways in Navi Mumbai was still in the pipeline, the MMRDA has announced a Rs. 100 Crore plan to develop water transport services on the underutilized waterways in Navi Mumbai. Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik has been pursuing the project of water ways in Navi Mumbai for a long time. It also happened to be one of his election promises in the last assembly elections. But even as the Minister’s plans are in the pipeline, the MMRDA has announced a Rs. 100 Crore project in its 2010-2011 budget with the aim of reducing Mumbaikar’s long commute between Navi Mumbai by at least half an hour. The Rs 100 crore project includes services to launch catamaran and hovercraft services for commuters. The 45-minute ferry services will be run between Ferry Wharf in South Mumbai and Vashi, Nerul and Belapur. Services will be operational all through the year, except during the monsoon. Each catamaran or hovercraft will be able to carry around 150-300 passengers. The MMRDA will develop passenger terminals at Vashi, Nerul, Belapur, Mandwa, Ferry Wharf, and subsequently at JNPT and Uran. While private firms can run catamarans, hovercraft and boats, ticketing will be controlled by the state government. Boat services to Airoli and Ghansoli have not been considered as yet. If things go as planned by MMRDA then it’s a wonder how Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik will take forward his plans. We caught up with the Minister’s younger son MLA Sandeep Naik who said that they will definitely initiate dialogue with MMRDA on “who executes the project?” No matter who executes the project, for Navi Mumbaikars it’s a win win situation as long as commuters get the alternative to travel to Mumbai through environment friendly and time saving waterways. Bureau report – NMTV News.