Indian Navy makes Mumbai harbour safe

Mumbai, Sep 3 (Calcutta Tube) Twenty-five 25 days after two foreign cargo ships collided in the Mumbai harbour, the Indian Navy Wednesday completed its task of escorting ships and surveying the navigation channel, an official said.

‘Henceforth the salvors of the foreign ships would undertake the task of surveying the navigation channel on a daily basis to ensure it is safe for maritime activities,’ the director general of shipping said here.

Even as the survey of the navigation channel has been hampered in the past few days due to inclement weather, a new container was detected floating Wednesday.

The rescue teams immediately made efforts to tow away the container to a safe location but it sank on the edge of the navigation channel while being towed.

It has been marked to warn all vessels plying in the area and the authorities plan to retrieve it Thursday.

Meanwhile, the authorities also completed the last pending ferry route survey between Belapur-Elephanta Island and no obstructions were found, rendering it safe for passenger services.

The salvors have also been told to keep effective standard operating procedures for undertaking any rescue mission in case any passenger ferry boat encounters problems or obstructions.

The beleaguered Panamanian ship, MSC Chitra, continues to be stable and the salvers initiated measures to unload the containers. One was removed Wednesday and the phosphine levels were safe for working.

Maritime traffic to and fro the Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has almost normalised.

The Panamanian cargo carrier, MSC Chitra and a St. Kitts vessel MV Khalijia-III had collided in Mumbai harbour Aug 7, seriously disrupting maritime traffic for over three weeks and spreading pollutants in the surrounding areas.

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