The government of Andhra Pradesh of India has set in motion efforts to convert MV Maa, an abandoned cargo ship from Bangladesh, to a floating restaurant.
Andhra Pradesh Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao claimed that they were in talks with the authorities to work out the modalities for the acquisition of the ship, to make the necessary modifications and to turn it into a floating restaurant, reports The Siasat Daily.
On October 13, MV Maa ran aground near a beachfront park in Visakhapatnam due to heavy winds caused by a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal after one of its two anchors broke.
After being denied the permission to refloat and tow it to the dry dock of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd by Visakhapatnam Port Trust through the port entrance channel, the owner subsequently abandoned the ship which arrived at the spot on September 19 to take fly ash for delivery at Mongla Port.
The move when becomes a reality will help boost tourism. Visakhapatnam already has INS Kursura submarine and TU142 aircraft museums.
The salvage operation for the stranded ship by US-based Resolve Marine could not be carried out as per schedule to refloat the ship on November 14 for repairs as Visakhapatnam Port Trust insisted on certification on seaworthiness by Indian Register of Shipping, Bhupesh Malaratua, Chairman and Managing Director of Navship Marine Services Pvt. Ltd (agents for the ship owners) told siasat.com.
Following abandoning of the ship, London-headquartered International Transport Workers' Federation Inspector B.V. Ratnam held talks with PNI Insurance Club, ship owners and others and facilitated the repatriation of 15-member crew.
He said as per Marine Labour Convention, 2006, the onus of payment of wages to the crew and their repatriation to their native places lies with the insurance agency if a ship is abandoned.
As soon as the ship ran aground, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and port officials directed the owners to remove fuels from the vessel to prevent oil spillage.
Gill Marine, a local firm which was given the contract, removed 1.49 lakh litre of fuels thereby ruling out the threat of oil spillage.
Now the ship has turned into a tourist attraction as it can be viewed at close range from Tenneti Park, a popular seaside park in the city.