Two days after 60 passengers had a miraculous escape when their ferry sunk on its way to Mora in Raigad, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has asked the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) to remove the wreckage of sunken ships from the accident spot.
“We would be arranging a meeting with the Ministry of Shipping and MbPT to ask them to do something about wrecked ships that haven’t been removed,” said Minister for Transport and Ports, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.
“The MbPT should play a proactive role in safety of passenger boats and should remove the wreckages.”
MMB, which monitors and gives licences to for public water transport projects, comes under the administrative control of state government.
On Sunday, a ferry Gitanjali, on its way to Mora from Mumbai sunk after hitting the hit the wreckage of a sunken ship near Butcher Island. The boat crew informed the police control and the marine wing of the Mumbai police and five patrol vessels were diverted to save the 60 passengers.
Over the years, more than 10 boats have sunk at the same spot, which during low tides and in foggy weather, pose grave danger to passenger boats.
Now, MMB is planning to introduce new rescue boats, which shall be used during emergencies or accidents. MMB will soon call tenders for new rescue boats.
“There are not enough rescue boats and those present have become old. So, we will call tenders for new rescue boats. At the same time, private contractors should introduce modern launch boats to assure safety and comfort to passengers,” added Vikhe-Patil.
About 1,200 daily passengers take the sea route for Uran and Rewas in Raigad. Twelve boats go to Rewas and 14 to Uran every day.