30 October 2017

Scrapping of dredger Hansita begins

It had been lying anchored 3 nautical miles off Kollam coast since November 2013

The dredger that broke loose from its moorings and washed up near the Mundakkal beach in Kollam city in June last is now being scrapped by a Kannur-based private firm under a ₹2-crore contract tendered by the Metal Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC), a Central government enterprise.

The MSTC awarded the contract following a no-objection from the Kollam Port authorities. After being washed near the beach, it created panic in the area when sea erosion activity got triggered. Some families living close to the area were shifted to safer locations.

The virtually beached ship also briefly became a tourist attraction of sorts. The dredger, Hansita, caught in a legal tangle, had been lying anchored 3 nautical miles off the Kollam coast since November 2013.

It was on March 26, 2013, that the dredger Hansita, owned by Mumbai-based Megha Dredging Private Ltd., docked at Kollam Port for repairs on developing engine trouble en route to Karwar.

Clearance denied

After repairs, the port authorities did not give clearance for the vessel to sail as the owners failed to pay port charges of ₹40 lakh. For facilitating the launch of the State government’s coastal shipping programme from Kollam Port in November 2013, the port authorities moved the ship three nautical miles away.

Several attempts were made in vain to tow the ship back into the waters from the beach area. Residents of the area said the decision to scrap the ship had brought relief but it should also be ensured that all scrapped materials were removed from the area, they added.

Source: the hindu. 19 October 2017

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