Mumbai, Jan 11 : Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday laid the foundation stone of an international cruise terminal at the Mumbai port.
Slated to cost Rs 300 crore, the proposed terminal will have facilities like arrival and departure lounges and cater to around 700,000 tourists annually. It is expected to be ready by December 2019.
Speaking on the occasion, Fadnavis said the terminal was part of the government’s four-pronged policy to develop Mumbai vis-a-vis water, air, ground and underground transport through a new international airport, roads and flyovers and an underground Mumbai Metro.
“This will make Mumbai a global cruise destination, create huge employment opportunities, increase number of tourists and contribute to State Gross Domestic Product growth Maharashtra, including Mumbai,” Fadnavis said.
Spread over 4.15 lakh square feet, the terminal will be equipped to host cruise ships with a capacity of around 5,000 passengers, with restaurants, shopping, recreation and leisure activities, which would also be accessible to the local population.
In 2016-17, around 55 international cruise ships carrying over 60,000 passengers touched Mumbai, with the numbers now expected to grow 10 fold to around 700 vessels annually.
With Mumbai alone expected to handle nearly three fourth of this estimated huge growth in cruise liner traffic, the government plans to develop other ports (besides Mumbai) like Goa, Mangalore, Kochi and Chennai to cater to big and small international cruise ships.