Junglighat jetty reduced to grave of redundant vessels

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
4 Oct 2017

Despite routine reports in the local media, the Directorate of Shipping Services has failed 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 continues to burn up crores of rupees from the government exchequer on frequent repairs of laid-off vessels as ports in the city are being reduced to grave of non-operational inter-island vessels. The massive jetty at Junglighat stands testimony to the claim where a number of inter-island vessels have remained under repairs for the past several months and the number are only increasing.
“The department entrusted with the responsibility to provide passenger services to different islands and mainland continues to burn up crores of rupees from the government exchequer on frequent repairs of laid-off vessels as ports in the city are being reduced to grave of non-operational inter-island vessels. MV Rangat, MV Pillomillow, MV Hut Bay, MV Jolly Buoy, to name a few are all inter-island vessels which remained out of service for the past many months. However, the Shipping Department spends crores on salaries and allowances of the crew members stationed idle at the Jetty,” said a frequent ship commuter.
“Owing to shortage of passenger ships in different inter-island sectors, commuters in far-flung islands are facing untold hardships. Tall claims of making discernible progress in improving the operational capacity of the shipping fleet has fallen flat on all counts. The top brass of the administration should take a strong note of the situation and issue necessary instructions to the Shipping Department to initiate measures to put the under-repair vessels into operation,” say some others.