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Navi Mumbai set to get its floating restaurant

Navi Mumbai is set to get its own floatels, or floating restaurant, like Mumbai, with the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) planning to appoint a private entity to operate it in a bid to boost coastal tourism in the state

The MMB said it has already zeroed in on a private operator to have the floatel anchored off Belapur, along the lines of two floatels anchored off Bandra, near Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL). Until May this year, three were floatels off Bandra, but one of them capsized in last week of May. The owners have not proposed restarting the service yet.

MMB chief executive officer Vikram Kumar said, “We are in talks with one private operator to get a third floatel running again, after one of the three initial ones off Bandra capsized. In case of Belapur, we will soon have the floatel operational, considering the paperwork and permissions are in their final stages.”

In the next one week, restaurants are also expected to be afloat near the Gateway of India. Activities like domestic cruise movement and water sports facilities at several beaches in Mumbai has been the focus of MMB along with that of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), which has constructed a new domestic terminal building along with starting Mumbai-Goa cruise services.

An MMB official added, “While the response businesses aimed at boosting coastal tourism are getting is good, the revenue is not much. It does not even match the operational costs.”

He cited an example. “The floatels that have started in the last two years in Mumbai city do have people coming for it, but they are not running in profit. It may take at least 3-4 years for these models to get sustainable business in a city like Mumbai that has never had such opportunities.”

LURING TOURISTS

  • The MMB said it has already zeroed in on a private operator to have the floatel anchored off Belapur
  • It will be much like two floatels anchored off Bandra, near the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL)
  • Until May this year, three were floatels off Bandra, but one of them capsized in last week of Ma, earlier this year
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