Fisheries college urges MoEFCC to get ship removed from Surathkal beach

Bhagavati Prem, dredger at Guddekopplu beach at Surathkal near Mangaluru.   | Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

Expressing concern over the continued presence of dredging vessel MV Bhagvati Prem at Surathkal Beach near here, the College of Fisheries, Mangaluru, has written to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to immediately arrange to shift it.

Enclosing a letter from local fishermen associations, college dean A. Senthil Vel in his recent letter said the vessel poses great danger to the coast as it could cause serious erosion as was experienced by MV River Princess off Goa coast. The long presence of River Princess on Candolim Beach since 2002 had affected over 2 km of the serene beach stretch, Prof. Vel recalled. The ship remained on the beach for a decade because of legal complications. Prof. Vel noted that the matter of River Princess was dealt with y the MoEFCC and a criminal complaint was lodged by the Ministry against the owners of the ship, Government of Goa. The Ministry finally directed removal of the ship.

In view of the seriousness of the long presence of over a year of Bhagvati Prem off Surathkal coast, Mr. Senthil urged the Ministry to direct one of its officers to visit the site and submit a report. Based on the report, necessary directions under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, may be issued by the Ministry to the proponent and others involved to tow the ship to a safer location or to a recognised ship breaking unit to be dismantled.

At no instance, the ship may be allowed to remain beached for more than 30 days or be permitted to undertake breaking of the ship in-situ which would be environmentally disastrous, Prof. Senthil cautioned.

Bhagvati Prem, that was engaged in dredging the waters of New Mangalore Port, was beached at Surathkal Beach by the Port Trust on October 28 last after it developed technical snag and witnessed waterlogging. The action was taken to prevent the possible sinking of the vessel in the turbulent sea conditions as another dredger vessel MV Tridev Prem sunk in NMPT limits on September 2 last. NMPT thereafter asked its owners, M/s Mercator as well as the Director General of Shipping to remove the ship from the location. With no response from the either, it also put out a public notice for the removal of the ship.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 3:55:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fisheries-college-urges-moefcc-to-get-ship-removed-from-surathkal-beach/article33197380.ece

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