Wednesday, February 14, 2007

RIL sticks to time, to ferry workers to SEZ at Panvel



BANGALORE: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is opening a sea
corridor for its workforce at the upcoming special economic zone in
Panvel, which would see them skipping the clogged Mumbai roads and
cutting down the travel time. The corporate giant is expected to place
up to $50-million order for a fleet of big-sized commuter boats for
ferrying its employees to the SEZ, which is about 50 km away from the

Sources said Reliance Industries is in talks with several global vendors
for buying at least 30 boats initially in different categories including
the above 55 ft high speed commuter boats that can ferry around 200
people. Reliance Industries has already inducted few captains from
Indian Navy for developing the water transportation.

A Reliance spokesperson said that the water transport was one of the
options company was considering, but declined to comment further.
Sources said that the corporate giant was keen on developing the sea
route and increasing the fleet size once the development of the larger
SEZ in Uran, Panvel and Pen taluks, located closer to JNPT, gathers

Apart from the high-speed commuter boats priced upwards of Rs 10 crore
each, Reliance is also planning to buy ferry boats in the price range of
Rs 1.5-2 crore. The 45-55 ft ferry boats can ferry around 30 passengers.
The purchase list could also include 30 ft work boats priced at Rs 40-50
lakh. the 30 ft work boats can transport around 15 people.

Reliance is developing 14,000 hectare SEZ covering Uran Taluk, Pen and
Panvel. This includes the smaller SEZ spread across 4,000 hectare in
Panvel, which is currently under way. When completed, the entire SEZ
play is expected to employ up to 2 million people.“You take more time to
reach Navi Mumbai than Pune. So till all road and rail links are
developed between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, we are looking at water
transportation,” sources said.


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