Stating that the incident of the MV Lucky Seven casino vessel drifting and running ashore the Miramar beach last month is a non-issue for Panaji voters, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said the exercise of towing away the vessel into the sea needs to be undertaken with utmost caution as it has developed a “gushing hole”, which needs to be sealed.
“The government will ensure that the vessel moves back to the sea, but that cannot be done immediately due to a technical reason,” Parrikar added, pointing out that any haste in pulling the vessel might result in its sinking some 200 mts to 400 mts into the sea from its present position, which will create further problems.
“So all these factors need to be kept in mind and the bottom of the vessel should be sealed before further steps are taken,” he noted.
Speaking to media persons after paying tributes to the first chief minister of Goa Dayanand ‘Bhausaheb’ Bandodkar on his 44th death anniversary at Miramar, not very far from this casino vessel, Parrikar said the task of moving away the particular vessel is however not difficult as it appears.
“Once the vessel is towed into the sea, it should be able to float on the water for at least 10 to 12 hours, only after which it can be taken for further repairs,” he observed, noting that only the Captain of Ports would be in a
better position to come out with the exact reason as to why the particular vessel was allowed to enter the mouth of river Mandovi during the monsoon.
Replying to a question, Parrikar said that he has covered nearly 55 per cent of approximately 8,000 households in the city as part of his election campaign for the Panaji by-election. However, no voter has asked him questions about the drifted vessel.
“Nevertheless, the people should place the responsibility of moving this vessel on the shoulders of government, and the task would be accomplished soon,” he assured.
On July 15, a crewmember of Lucky Seven got injured after a towing cable attached to the tugs snapped off during the attempt to move it to Verem Bay. Three other crewmembers also developed sea sickness due to the choppy waters. Then the vessel, within next 24 hours drifted onto the shore along the Miramar beach due to gusty winds.
The vessel since then has been obstructing the waves from hitting the beach and has in turn, caused erosion along a roughly 100-mt stretch on its southern side.
The Mumbai-based salvage company, Arihant Ship Breakers, which is in charge of removal of the vessel, had called for a new tugboat from Mumbai, which was expected to be put to use along with a crane barge for pulling the vessel to deep waters by this weekend. However, the new development wherein the vessel has suffered gushing hole, may delay this exercise further.
Once in deep waters, the 5,000-odd-tonne vessel is expected to be towed to the Mormugao Port Trust for a survey and further repair works, if any. It will then be taken to the Jaigad dry dock yard.