Goa CM Manohar Parrikar had last week conceded that a gushing hole at the bottom of the grounded vessel Lucky 7 is making its movement difficult and in turn delaying the removal process. More than one salvage attempt has failed and now the people of Goa are told that the ship has developed a huge hole that needed extensive repairs.
However, shipping and salvage experts from Mumbai reveal that its not just one big hole, but several smaller cracks in the lower part of the hull that are adding to the problem. They also suggest that the ship may have to be permanently scrapped as extensive repairs could take 2-3 months.
Photographic and video evidence clearly shows the ship taking in water and tilted to one side. If the ship is towed into the sea, it will surely sink unless it is extensively repaired say experts/
According to Mohan Veigas a marine salvage expert from Mumbai who works with an international firm, the ship was never sea-worthy in the first place. “It was not maintained properly, the engines were not working and the gensets too were either partly or non-functional. The stark truth is a piece of rusted trash was allowed to float without its own power into the Mandovi,” claims Veigas, adding that the Bombay High Court at Goa was taken for a royal ride.
IndiaScribes.com spoke to several salvage ship and marine-time experts who after examining close ups and high resolution 360 degree photos and videos of the Lucky 7 (provided by IndiaScribes.com) from all angles have opined that the ship was not sea-worthy at all. It was clearly a rusted tub. The High Court went by statements and affidavits of the government and the CoP – the CoP had warned against bringing the ship into the Mandovi during the monsoons, but its warning were overruled.
The Bombay HC must issue suo moto notice to those concerned as its image has taken a beating. The Lucky 7 was never sea-worthy from day one, yet it was allowed to sail into the Mandovi. A false perception to mislead the HC was created and several people involved including the owners of the ship, the government pleader, the administration and others added to the mass delirium that the ship was fit to sail. The courts are to act as guardians of the law and order when politicians and the administrative machinery fails. How did the Hon’ble High Court close its eyes to the sham being enacted inside it’s hallowed walls. Were some High Court officials also involved in the cover-up, asks Flynn Remedios, Editor – Investigations of IndiaScribes.com, referring to allegations of corruption in the entire episode.
Sea-water in entering the ship from its doors which are not sealed causing further erosion of the inside body and hull of the ship. It seems like the owners of the Lucky 7 are happy to leave the ship stranded at Miramar and claim the insurance money. On the face of it, it looks like a big insurance scam and the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has been made a pawn in the unholy conspiracy of several people including some of Goa’s politicians, opines Remedios.
Did the government of Goa go out of its way to ascertain the sea-worthiness of the vessel or did they just become willing accomplices to the entire scam orchestrated by the owners of the vessel in connivance and criminal conspiracy with some Goan politicians whose sole aim was to fill their pockets?
The Bombay HC and the process of law has been used (or misused) by certain vested interests who approached the HC with the sole intention of manipulating the system for their own criminal purposes.
In another development, according to a Herald report, the Captain of Ports (CoP) has refused permission to Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd, owners of the Lucky 7 to dock the grounded offshore casino vessel in the River Mandovi.
In a communication to the owners, the CoP clearly stated the vessel needs major repairs and inspections and testing.
Last week the firm had applied seeking permission to tow the vessel from where it has been stranded at Miramar beach to River Mandovi to be docked.
“We cannot allow the vessel to anchor in River Mandovi unless it is declared fit. It is still undergoing minor repairs and will undergo a series of inspections for major repairs, if any. It was due to this that CoP rejected the firm’s application to dock in the River Mandovi,” an official said. Until Thursday, the vessel which is now floating, underwent some repairs including welding of some parts.
The vessel will have to be compulsorily towed to Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) for an underwater survey before sailing to Jaigad dry dockyard. The vessel is likely to be towed away on Friday afternoon. Only after the survey, will the vessel be allowed to be towed to Jaigad for carrying out major repairs. This was the reason, the official said, the company was denied permission to dock in River Mandovi at this stage.
Parrikar had publicly stated that the “Lucky 7 will be removed and the government is fully concerned about the removal of the vessel. There is a gushing hole and if you pull, it then it might sink somewhere about 200 to 300 metres ahead and that will be another problem.”
Where and how did the hole come from, asks Remedios. The government had aserted in the HC that the ship was sea-worthy. It is now on sand, how did the hole come up if the ship was strong enough to withstand the monsoon waves, sea currents and winds as claimed by its owners.
“Taking in all the factors, the bottom of the vessel will be sealed and then removed. It’s a technical reason and it is not difficult to remove. After removal and when taking for repairs, the vessel should float in the sea for at least 12 to 13 hours,” Parrikarr has said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has demanded a scientific study by the National Institute of Oceanography and Goa State Pollution Control Board of ecological damage caused by the off shore casino vessel MV Lucky 7 to the Miramar beach.
“The vessel which was grounded last month has damaged the beach completely; NIO and GSPCB needs to conduct a detailed study of the ecological damage caused and allied matters connected to pollution, and when the report comes out a criminal case should be filed against the culprits,” said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), president Shantaram Naik speaking to media persons in Panaji.