KOCHI: The Cochin Port Trust (CPT) is facing huge business loss and runs the risk of being closed for at least four days as the fishing boat which sank in the shipping channel is hindering vessel navigation. The Port Trust on Friday awarded the work of salvaging the sunken boat to Kochi-based Lots Shipping and they are expected to raise the vessel in four days. The Port Trust has also sent a letter to the Department of Fisheries stating legal action will be initiated against all who have caused a loss to the port. The letter says the illegal act by the Marine Enforcement Wing - which decided to tow the damaged vessel to the channel - caused the navigational hazard, incurring a national loss.
The letter says the Cochin Port Trust is sustaining irreparable damages due to the unauthorised entry of a damaged vessel, violating the Merchant Shipping ( Regulation of Entry of Ships to Ports, Anchorage and Offshore Facilities) Rules 2012, ISPS Code, circulars and regulations issued by the port regarding the use of Cochin Port waters. ‘’As per the rules, fishing boats are not supposed to enter the shipping channel. The Marine Enforcement Wing of the Department of Fisheries towed the sinking vessel to the channel and it sank causing the navigational hazard. Had the port been informed prior to the commencement of towing into a port limit, we would have offered a better solution without jeopardising the navigational channel,” the letter said.
Meanwhile, the port is facing a closure-like situation as ship movement has been affected. “The port is near closure till the sunken boat is cleared from the channel. Operations have almost come to a standstill already. It is learned the sunken boat does not have the mandatory insurance cover also,” Port Trust deputy chairman A V Ramana told Express. The salvage operation has begun and the agency which has been awarded the task is expected to complete the work in four days. Port operations will be hit till then. “The cost of salvaging the boat - Rs 29 lakh - will be recovered from those who are responsible for it,” Ramana said.
Port Trust awards contract to salvage the sunken boat to a Kochi-based company at Rs 29.5 lakh
Port Trust faces a closure-like situation because of the block in the channel by the sunken boat
Port Trust to initiate legal action against those caused loss
Towing of the damaged boat to the channel by Marine enforcement Wing was illegal and in violation of rules: Port Trust