As the lack of parking space and an increase in the number of vehicles on Mumbai’s roads add to the city’s traffic troubles, Maximum City is looking towards innovative modes of transport. The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) recently stated that a private firm will start a hovercraft ferry between Gateway of India in South Bombay to Nerul in Navi Mumbai. The firm is in process of procuring two second-hand Russian hovercrafts that will be refurbished and add to the city’s water transport which is handled by MMB.
A hovercraft is an amphibious air-cushion vehicle capable of travelling over land, water, mud and ice. Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull that is slightly above atmospheric pressure. The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the hull and lower pressure ambient air above it produces lift, which causes the hull to float above the running surface.
With a maximum carrying capacity of 50 people each, the hovercraft would travel the distance in 30 minutes, down from 90 minutes taken by road at present. At present, private operators ply ferry services ply from the Gateway of India to the coastal towns of Alibaug and Mandwa.
The service will also be operational during the monsoons as there are no tidal movements in the creek and are expected to start from February 2019.