ICG to set up permanent base in Navi Mumbai

Thane: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will be setting up a permanent base at Nerul in Navi Mumbai in a bid to strengthen maritime security and will use existing hoverport facility at Belapur to connect the upcoming Navi Mumbai international airport with South Mumbai, officials said on Wednesday.

The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has allotted a plot near TS Chanakya in Nerul to the Indian Coast Guard (West) following a request forwarded by the maritime agency and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), a release issued by CIDCO office said.

TS Chanakya is a shore-based training ship located on west coast near Mumbai.

The Coast Guard is in the process of developing the said plot to set up a permanent base in Nerul after obtaining approvals from the competent authority, it said.

The release further said since the establishment of permanent base is likely to take substantial time; the Coast Guard will be using existing hover port service at Belapur and will press into service hovercraft for strengthening maritime security and connecting the upcoming international airport to South Mumbai.

CIDCO in its board meeting held recently allowed the coastal security agency to use the hoverport facilities on the lease basis for a period of 3 years.

"In 1990's, CIDCO had developed the hover ports at Vashi and Belapur for providing passenger water transport services between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. However, the service was discontinued following lack of permanent hoverport facilities in South Mumbai," the release said.

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is developing a passenger water transport system between Mumbai and Nerul, Navi Mumbai, utilising catamarans and hovercraft.

A Canadian company which conducted the feasibility study of the transport system has given a go-ahead for the project in order to facilitate commuters to reach Navi Mumbai airport in a span of 45 minutes from South Mumbai, it added.