CBI inspects redundant vessels of DSS at Junglighat Jetty

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
20 Dec 2017

The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted surprise inspections at Junlighat Jetty on Wednesday.  Following complaints of non-plying of Speeds Boats of the Shipping Department and irregularities in payment of wages and allowances to crew deployed onboard the laid-off vessels, the surprise checks were conducted by the CBI team led by Superintendent, Mr Shantanu Kar. As per sources, the CBI has taken note of the prevailing situation and is likely to submit the final report on the complaints soon.
The Department of Shipping Services has been facing flak for its failure to increase the operational efficiency of its fleet in these islands. The department entrusted with the responsibility to provide passenger services to different islands and mainland allegedly burns up crores of rupees on frequent repairs of laid-off vessels and the massive jetty at Junglighat stands testimony where a number of inter-island Speed Boats have remained under repairs for the past several months. As per reliable sources, presently 9 to 10 Speed Boats are berthed idle at Junglighat Jetty for the past five years and around 8 crew members and officials have been drawing salaries and allowances since 2012. Sources further claimed that the detailed CBI inquiry will unearth a major scam in the Shipping Department.
Speaking to EOI, the SP CBI informed that the exercise conducted today was not a raid, but surprise inspection based on complaints received by the agency on redundant fleet of vessels of the DSS. “The surprise inspection was conducted to ascertain the factual position pertaining to the status of ships of the Shipping Department. The inspection was conducted in association with the Shipping Corporation of India, officials of the Shipping Department and vigilance officers of the administration. We found 8 vessels which were not operational and under repairs and all of them were fully inspected. The vessels are in working condition but for recurring technical snags, they couldn’t be pressed into service for the past two to three years. It’ll take around two to three months to verify the contents in the complaints received by CBI with the findings of the inspection carried out today,” informed the SP CBI.