Tardy sailing of passenger vessel triggers commotion again at Haddo wharf

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
2 Apr 2018

Delay in sailing of another passenger vessel bound for Campbell Bay caused commotion at Haddo wharf on Monday. According to reports, the vessel, MV Campbell Bay, was scheduled to set sails for Campbell Bay at 10 am today and the embarkation time was fixed at 8 am. But when passengers reached the wharf at the scheduled embarkation time, they were reportedly stopped at the entry gate and informed that the vessel will sail at 12 noon and embarkation of passengers will commence at 10 am. Repeated pleas by passengers to allow senior citizens, women and children inside the passenger hall went unheard as travellers were forced to bear the scorching sun for more than 4 hours.
“Sailing delays have now become a routine in the Shipping Department. Hundreds of passengers bound for remote southern group of islands were again left fuming for hours on Monday. The sailing and embarkation timings were clearly mentioned as 10 am and 8 am respectively while the last-minute changes were carried out without any intimation to passengers. Passengers arrived at the wharf for necessary clearance before 8 am to board the vessel. But to the dismay of the passengers, the embarkation timing was deferred to 10 am. We requested the port authorities to allow passengers particularly the elderly to sit inside the passenger hall, but no heed was paid. As a result, hundreds of passengers were forced to bear the sultry conditions in the open till the vessel sailed at 12 noon,” bewailed some passengers.
Speaking to EOI, Mr Veeraiah, Deputy Director of Shipping Services, informed that there are several reasons which can at times lead to delay in sailing of passenger vessel. “As per information obtained, certain delay was caused in bunkering procedures on account of holidays. Bunkering was carried out today morning during which no other works are carried out. Because of the critical procedure, the sailing had to be delayed for some time. Upon completion of all formalities, the vessel sailed for its destination,” he informed.