Mangaluru: Bigger ferry hits water at Phalguni - More room for everyone

By Shilpa K

Mangaluru, May 25: A new tourist-cum-passenger boat on the Phalguni river is all set to sail by the end of May, thanks to the Mogaveera community. They have replaced the existing boat with a larger one to accommodate the growing number of passengers. The ferry services have been under the purview of the Mogaveera community for the past thirteen years.

Besides ferrying local passengers to and from their destinations, the boat has also been enhancing the tourist experience for visitors to Tannirbhavi beach, thus benefiting Mangaluru's tourism sector.

In light of the aging Phalguni and Gurpur boats, which were unable to meet the demands of the increasing crowd, the new boat was constructed. It is named 'Mariyamma Anugraha' as a tribute to the local deity. Unlike the previous boats, which were refurbished, this new boat is entirely made from fiber, including the deck. Operating on a smaller Hino diesel engine and a 32-inch fan, the new boat adheres to tourism department protocols. It was constructed with three partitions for manageability in case of a capsize, and an air pipe was added inside to comply with security regulations, according to the boat maker, Uday Mesta from Honnavar. However, the boat is awaiting official fitness documentation before it can begin sailing.

Dedicating income to charity

Arun Mendon, a committee member, stated, "From the boat's income, we allocate Rs 500 for every hundred elderly persons in the village every month. Additionally, students are selected annually through a lottery to receive six laptops and scholarships worth Rs 9.5 lac. In the event of a death, the family is provided Rs 5000 as immediate condolence. Other developments funded by the income include a children's park, an attractive front at the harbor, a four-wheeled cart for transporting mortal remains, and the construction of an open hall." He further added that harbour development falls under the Smart City development plan, for which over Rs 800 crore were allocated, but unfortunately, progress has stalled.

Pricing and passes

Each person must pay Rs. 15 for a one-way ticket, while villagers can purchase a monthly pass for Rs. 300. Students have enjoyed free rides for the past six years. The ferry service begins at 7 am, making three to four rounds every hour until 8 pm. Mendon noted, "In the evening, long queues can be observed. Some tourists even miss the sunset at the beach while waiting for two trips. Therefore, a larger boat will benefit tourists." However, with the onset of the monsoon and the closure of the beach to visitors due to high tides, the services will be interrupted for two months.

Divine offerings on the boat

During the boat's foundation laying ceremony, a hole was drilled, and divine offerings to Mariamma and Hanuman were placed inside. The boat was built at the Gajanana Boat Yard in Honnavar and transported to Boloor via sea, taking 12 hours. "We went there a day early and began sailing the next morning at 7 am, accompanied by a local navigator. Now, we are awaiting the fitness certificate to inaugurate the new boat," stated Mendon.

However, visitors have complained about the lack of cashless transactions at the ticket counter, as many do not carry cash with them. Mendon responded that the current staff do not know how to operate cashless transactions, and replacing them would pose difficulties.

Despite the long wait to sail on the new boat, passengers must now endure further delays as the monsoon approaches.





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Comment on this article

  • Alistair Saldanha, Bangalore

    Mon, May 27 2024

    Shilpa, thanks for a well-written article. It's rare to find articles written in good English these days.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Mangaluru: Bigger ferry hits water at Phalguni - More room for everyone

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