The 650-crore Ro-Pax ferry service project to connect Saurashtra and Dahej in Gujarat is set start this week after a successful trial run, the government said Wednesday. The Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service project with a capacity to carry 500 passengers along with 100 vehicles would reduce the travel distance to just 31 km via sea route from 294 km through road between the two places. A ro-ro ferry service for passengers is already operational between Gogha in Saurashtra and Dahej. The project to connect Saurashtra and South Gujarat, under Sagarmala, is first of its kind in India as it is being executed in the area of world's second highest tidal range, the government said. "The Prime Minister's dream project of Gogha- Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service is all ready to start under the Sagarmala programme of the Ministry of Shipping. In a successful trial run conducted recently, 12 loaded trucks were transported by the Ro- Pax ferry from Dahej to Gogha across the Gulf of Cambay, via the sea route," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement. The land route between the two places involves a 294 km or 8 hour drive, it said adding the Ro-Pax service reduces this distance to just 31 km through the sea route by crossing the Gulf in Cambay in 17 Nautical Miles. "The travel time gets reduced to just 1.5 hours. This is an important development for diamond and textiles traders and workers in Surat to travel via coastal shipping and save the travel time by almost half," the statement said. The fully operational Ro Pax service with carrying capacity of 100 vehicles and 500 passengers will be opened on October 27, 2018. Speaking after the trail run, Shipping and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, "The Sagarmala programme is touching the lives of people. Gogha-Dahej Ro-Pax Ferry service is all set to connect Saurashtra and South Gujarat." The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 615 Crore of which Rs 117 Crore has been funded by Central Government under the Sagarmala programme with the main objective of promoting coastal shipping and reducing logistics costs, the statement said. The initiative would not only reduce the travel time but also result in savings in fuel, reduction in CO2 emission and reduction in road congestion, it said. The project would open up new avenues in coastal shipping & tourism and help in socio-economic development of proximate areas, it added.