If one passes along the Panjim promenade at any time of the time, they can see the ferries that cross the river at regular intervals, taking passengers between Panjim and Betim. Now the government has plans to start another ferry route, between Panjim and Aldona. This route will be eco-friendly as the ferries they plan to use will be powered by solar energy.
A scenic route for solar-powered ferries
The River Navigation Department will be in charge of introducing these solar-powered ferries. The eco-friendly ferry service will ply between Panjim and the scenic village of Aldona.
An RND official told the newspapers that the idea put forward about this launch service was being put into practice. The approved budget for this project is 6 crores for this financial year. Now the RND has to check how much solar-powered ferries can be built within the budget. The official also said that they are in the process of trying to get interested parties involved in the project.
Sources say that these ferries will run on solar and battery power. They will have a diesel generator as back up. Unlike the ferries that move between Panjim and Betim, Ribandar and Chorao, and Old Goa and Divar, they will only carry passengers with a seating capacity of 75 pax. The service will be available to local office-goers on their daily commute and also used as a cruise boat for tourists during the day. It should make for an interesting trip as the route taken is a pretty and ecologically appealing one.
Smoothing out the details
The RND is yet to take a decision on the fare basis for the Panjim – Aldona route.
An RND official said that the jetty infrastructure already exists in Aldona. It just has to be updated. With the addition of this ferry route, the RND is hopeful that locals will once again use waterways for their daily commute. “We are proposing a vessel which will run at 14-15 knots. This means the vessel should reach Panaji within 45 mins from Aldona; this would otherwise take 1.5 hours by road. This service will ease the traffic load on the roads,” he added.