With an aim to boost tourism in the state, Maharashtra government is all set to start an amphibious bus service, popularly known as duck boats, which will allow people to experience the rich hinterland of Mumbai.
The vehicle, which will ply on roads as well as float in water, will be launched as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed recently between Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
The Goa government had also recently flagged off an amphibious joyride service.
According to MTDC’s Joint Managing Director Satish Soni, Goa is not the first state to start such a service.
“Such type of buses were in use in Amby Valley located near Lonavala. I have myself travelled in it a year back. But the new amphibious bus service will be the first time that MTDC is foraying in to attract tourists,” Soni said.
He said these buses will be owned by JNPT and MTDC will operate it.
Asked when will the service be available for tourists, Soni said, “We first need to construct a jetty and a floating ramp so that it can come out of the sea onto the land.” He said MTDC plans to construct the jetty at Girgaum Chowpatty and the corporation has sought permission for it from Maharashtra Coastal Regulatory Authority.
“It will cost us more than Rs 3 crore and the proposal is in the pipeline. But, soon ferrying of passengers will begin from the coast of Girgaum,” he said.