Port Blair, Apr 18: Finally Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is facing severe shortage of passenger vessels, has got a passenger vessel MV Coral Queen on five year lease.
Since last few years due to problems in decommissioning, fitness and diversion of passenger ferries from Inter-Island sector to Mainland-Island sector, there were very few vessels to connect remote Islands, especially Islands of Nicobar District.
Shortage of ships not only created problem for public but also for administration as these Islands witnessed several strikes in remote Islands, demanding more vessels for Nicobar District and Little Andaman Sector.
“The vessel Coral Queen has been chartered for people of Nicobar District, she has a capacity of 450 passengers and 100 tonnes of Cargo. At present some paper works are pending and we are hopeful that within next seven to eight days the ship will be pressed into service,” Capt. Rajinder Kumar, the Director of Andaman’s Shipping Services told media today.
According to information, Andaman Administration had requested Shipping Cooperation of India for Chartering of this vessel, and SCI had floated a global tender on Andaman’s behalf and the best available vessel was Chartered for Andaman.
Presently MV Bharat Seema and MV Campbell Bay are only available to cater the need of people of Nicobar District and Little Andaman Island.
Once MV Coral Queens joins service, the frequency of vessel to far flung islands will certainly increase.