Panaji: The Netherlands-based professional salvager
Marine Masters has achieved success in refloating the grounded ship MV Nu Shi
Nalini.

Minister for Ports Michael Lobo, speaking to this daily
late Wednesday night, confirmed that the stranded ship, which remained grounded
for the past 45 days over the rocky reef about 800 metres away from the Marivel
beach near Dona Paula, has been refloated.

The minister said that efforts are on to tow away the
ship to a berth at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) in Vasco.

“The team has pulled out the vessel, which was resting on
the rocks on one side and on sand on the other. As per the information given to
me by Collector North, the team is going to tow away the ship to MPT tonight
(Wednesday night) itself,” Lobo said. “We were expecting it to be taken
tomorrow (Thursday), but the salvaging team is taking it tonight,” he
added.

Marine Masters has prepared a salvage plan and
has been working round the clock for refloating the vessel, which carries 2,600
metric tonne of naphtha, 50 metric tonne of high-sulphur fuel oil and 19 metric
tonne of marine diesel oil.

The Collector North R Menaka, meanwhile, said on
Wednesday night that the vessel will reach MPT by midnight. She said that
decisions on berthing and unloading of naphtha from the vessel would be taken
on Thursday.

Sources in the MPT said that the vessel will be anchored
at berth no 8. They said that naphtha from the vessel will either be unloaded
and transported in tankers by road or the flammable oil will be trans-shipped
from the berth no 8 at MPT.

Meanwhile, the state government is considering
trans-shipment of the naphtha, on board the tanker, to another ship following
concerns raised over unloading of the flammable oil at MPT berth and storing
the same at Upper Jetty in the port town.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday assured to consider
the objection raised by Urban Development Minister and Mormugao MLA Milind
Naik, who said that storing naphtha on shore could lead to a disaster in case a
leakage occurs.

Sources in the government said that the only option left
with the government now is to trans-ship the naphtha directly into another
ship.

Naik has written a letter to the chairman of MPT and also
brought to the notice of the government the serious concerns about safety of
people if naphtha is stored in the Ganesh Benzoplast tanks at the Upper Jetty
at Sada in Vasco.

In his letter addressed to the MPT chairman, Naik has
said that he understands that steps are being taken to unload naphtha from the
ill-fated tanker by bringing the vessel alongside an MPT berth and storing the
naphtha in Ganesh Benzoplast tanks at Upper Jetty in Sada area.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Naik said
that he, along with locals, has strongly objected to the unloading of
naphtha and storing the same into the tanks, as it could lead to a disaster.
“My suggestion to the government and MPT is that instead of unloading the
naphtha from the tanker, it could be trans-shipped directly to another ship and
taken away,” he said.

The minister also said that as per his information, a
Gujarat-based company wants to purchase the naphtha after it is stored in the
tanks at Sada.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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