AP plans to convert abandoned Bangladesh ship into floating restaurant

Visakhapatnam: The Andhra Pradesh government has set in motion efforts to convert M.V. Maa, an abandoned Bangladeshi cargo ship, into a floating restaurant.

The ship ran aground near a beachfront park on October 13 due to heavy winds caused by a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal on October 13 after one of it’s two anchors broke.

The ship which arrived here on September 19 to take fly ash for delivery at Mongla Port was abandoned subsequently by its owners in Bangladesh following denial of permission to refloat and tow it to dry dock of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd by Visakhapatnam Port Trust using the port entrance channel.

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State Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao said they were in talks with authorities to work out the modalities to acquire the ship, make necessary modifications and convert it into a floating restaurant.

Photos: A. Pydiraju

The move when becomes a reality will help boost tourism. Visakhapatnam already has INS Kursura submarine and TU142 aircraft museums.

The salvage operation for the stranded ship by US-based Resolve Marine could not be carried out as per schedule to refloat the ship on November 14 for repairs as Visakhapatnam Port Trust insisted on certification on seaworthiness by Indian Register of Shipping, Bhupesh Malaratua, Chairman and Managing Director of Navship Marine Services Pvt. Ltd (agents for the ship owners) told siasat.com.

Following abandoning of the ship, London-headquartered International Transport Workers’ Federation Inspector B.V. Ratnam held talks with PNI Insurance Club, ship owners and others and facilitated the repatriation of 15-member crew.

He said as per Marine Labour Convention, 2006, the onus of payment of wages to the crew and their repatriation to their native places lies with the insurance agency if a ship is abandoned.

As soon as the ship ran aground, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and port officials directed the owners to remove fuels from the vessel to prevent oil spillage.

Gill Marine, a local firm which was given the contract, removed 1.49 lakh litre of fuels thereby ruling out the threat of oil spillage.

Now the ship has turned into a tourist attraction as it can be viewed at close range from Tenneti Park, a popular seaside park in the city.

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