Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)
Mangaluru, Feb 9: Efforts to clear the ship, 'Ocean Blessing' which sank about 900 metres off the Tannirbhavi seashore about 29 years ago are about to begin.
The remains of the ship had been bought in an auction by the city-based K K Enterprises four years ago. The customs department had objected to the company's plan to take the shop away as it is a container ship belonging to a foreign country and the customs duty on the goods had not been remitted.
As the clearance of the ship was getting inordinately delayed the company approached the Supreme Court and after a struggle which went on for four years, got the permission to clear the ship from the spot. It has also obtained permission from Dakshina Kannada district administration, environment, fisheries and other departments. Already the company has brought a barge here and another, bigger barge is expected to arrive next week.
A team of 50 workers from Jharkhand and Odisha who will undertake gas cutting, towing etc underwater, plan to clear the ship's remnants in about two years’ time. It is said that this ship was pushed here and therefore there is no problem of oil leakage.
The ship had got stranded after ramming into another ship. It could not be pulled or pushed ahead and sank there. Even though effort to lift the ship from the bottom had been undertaken ten years back, the ship had fallen by its side due to the force of wind and rain and it was found not possible to pull it ashore. The contractors who had invested lot of money, had abandoned the effort thereafter. Some of the items inside the ship had started floating to the shore thereafter as the ship had fallen sideward.
It may be recalled that two more ships which sank here after the above ship also await clearance from the waters here as the fishing boats face problems due to them.