3 vessels being readied for Andaman and Nicobar
By Our Staff Reporter
PONDICHERRY, FEB. 2. Three passenger cum cargo vessels meant for the Administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands would be ready for delivery by March-end, according to the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar, R. Padmanabhan.
In a communication here today, the Chief Secretary (who had been Principal Secretary here before his transfer to the Andaman Union Territory as Chief Secretary in December last) said he had inspected the vessels now under construction by the Pondicherry-based Goodwill Engineering Works at the New Port complex in Ariankuppam here on Friday.
Each of the three vessels-Pillowmillow, Onge and Katchal-would have a carrying capacity of 75 passengers and 50 tons of cargo and would cost Rs. 7 crores. This is the first time that a Pondicherry-based firm would deliver passenger vessels to the Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
He also inspected the dredging operations done by the two dredgers of Pondicherry port in the Ariankuppam river channel. Dredging the channel to a depth of four meters might be completed by early next month. Dredging was an essential work for taking out the ships from the channel to the sea for conducting ocean trial and endurance test.
He was of the view that if a permanent arrangement could be made to keep the channel and the mouth of Ariankuppam river free from silt with a navigable dept of atleast five metres and a width of 40 metres throughout the year, the boat-building activity in Pondicherry would pick up and a number of ocean-going passenger vessels could be built. This would procure revenue to the Pondicherry port and employment opportunities to the local people.During his inspection, Sengupta of Goodwill Engineering Works, Ramkumar (Port Officer Pondicherry), C. Anandane, Executive Engineer, and M. J. Rao, Adviser, National Ship Design and Research Centre, Vishakapatnam were present.
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