Commotion at Nimbutala after technical snag forces cancellation of MV Chouldhari voyage

Report by: 
17 May 2018

Chaos remained the order of the day at Rangat Bay Jetty, Nimbutala in Middle Andaman after around 57 ship passengers were denied boarding by the Master of vessel MV Chouldhari on Thursday. As per reports, passengers reached the jetty before the scheduled departure time of 6.15 am, but were informed that the vessel left for an additional trip to Havelock. Farers waited patiently for around two hours till MV Chouldhari reached Rangat Bay at about 8 am. Commuters possessing valid tickets boarded the vessel soon after which the Master announced that the ship couldn’t sail for Port Blair due to a technical snag and directed passengers to disembark. Neither the Master nor the Tally Clerk, however, informed the commuters about the next sailing leaving them furious at the jetty.
“There were students who had purchased tickets were to visit Port Blair for educational related works, while others has plans to visit mainland or other inter-island destinations. Sudden cancellation of the sailing has left all of us in the lurch. Who will pay for the losses incurred? Repeated pleas to the Master of the vessel and Tally Clerk to inform us about the next scheduled trip to Port Blair proved futile. Even the Tally Clerk was uninformed about the shipping schedule for the next three days. Such recurring cancellation of boats has triggered huge resentment among the population here,” said an enraged commuter.
Upset by the situation, the ship passengers contacted the Pradhan of Nimbutala, Panchayat, Smt K Saravana Kumari, who in turn, tried to contact the senior officials of Shipping Department, but failed. Her desperate efforts to contact the Deputy Commissioner of North and Middle Andaman District as also the Assistant Commissioner of Rangat failed. Smt K Saravana Kumari then contacted the Pradhan of Dashrathpur Panchayat, Mr Rangalal Halder and another political leader and established contact with the administration. As per reports, the local administration has given verbal assurance to deploy an additional boat trip tomorrow for passengers who missed the journey today.