The casino vessel MV Lucky 7, which had run grounded at the Miramar beach two months ago, was finally towed on Thursday into the river Mandovi along the Verem shore. The towed vessel will now appear under the name of ‘Big Daddy’ to join as the sixth ‘galaxy’ of the offshore casinos in Mandovi waters, probably after two months.
The salvation operation resumed on Thursday at around 8.45 am. Three tugs, two of which belonged to the Mormugao Port Trust, were pressed into service, and within an hour and half the vessel was successfully towed into the Mandovi and anchored along the Verem shore.
The rescued vessel will now undergo an underwater survey and patchworks.
“The vessel has currently been anchored in the Mandovi, and has been permitted to undergo the underwater survey. There is going to be substantial repair works on the vessel to enable it to go on a voyage from Goa to Jaigad in Ratnagiri where the vessel is expected to go into dry dock,” Captain of Ports James Braganza said.
The vessel had developed a 12-metre deep crack at its bottom in mid-August when it lay grounded, and two propellers had also broken down hampering the salvation operation.
Govind Kanda, who is the brother of Gopal Kanda, the owner of the vessel, told media persons that a team of expert salvagers and divers have already
started the underwater survey which is likely to be completed within next four days.
Kanda said the assessment of the damages incurred by the vessel will be known in the next two-three days i.e. after the survey is completed.
As of now, the loss incurred has been over Rs 10 crore, he claimed.
Kanda said the MV Lucky Seven will now take a new avatar in the name of ‘Big Daddy’ and will begin operations as a casino vessel after it will be brought back to the Mandovi following going into dry dock at Jaigad in Ratnagiri.
“Our casino is second in the state, and the Goa government has issued us the licence… that has already been renewed. The fees with dues have been paid to the government. Initially, we paid Rs 50 crore, and thereafter we paid Rs 5 crore… and at present, we are paying Rs 1 crore every month to the state government… so we will come back into the Mandovi and start operations as a casino (vessel),” Kanda emphasised.
When this reporter pointed out that there has been opposition to a new casino vessel in the Mandovi, Kanda reiterated that it is not a new offshore casino licence. The government has renewed the licence which had been issued to the Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd in 2006.
“We could start casino operations in January 2018. There should not be problem to start operations,” he added.
Kanda also said the staff for the casino vessel has already been recruited and have been undergoing training.
“We have recruited around 80 people for casino operations. Besides, 50 people have been hired for the administrative office,” he said.
Claiming that the casino vessel did no cause damages to environment when the vessel lay grounded at the Miramar beach, Kanda said that company employees will clean the beach.
As per a High Court’s order, Golden Globe Hotel Private Ltd has to submit a progress report at the next hearing on October 10.