Port Blair, Apr 06: Mr. R Murugesan President, IHRC, A & N Circle, urged to stop handover of Andaman’s two mega passenger ships, MV Ashoka & MV Atal to Indian Navy and also to retain these ships for the original intended purpose, which is for service between islands to mainland’s sector.
In a letter addressed to the Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Office, New Delhi Mr. R Murugesan President of IHRC said that “various local and national news reports have confirmed that the Andaman and Nicobar Administration is planning to hand over two mega passengers ships, MV Atal and MV Ashoka, being built at Cochin Shipyard ltd. to Indian Navy”.
He said that these two 1200 passenger cum 1000 tones ships MV Atal and MV Ashoka are the replacement to MV Nicobar and MV Nancowry ships, which are about to decommissioned.
“As shipping is the lifeline of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, handing over these two ships MV ATAL and MV ASHOKA to Indian Navy at a time when there is only one old ship MV Swaraj Dweep, available for mainland trips, will have a devastating impact on the Islanders, especially those who can’t afford to buy tickets for flights, like students and poor patients” he added.
He also pointed out that such decisions will leave nearly 450 to 800 seafarers jobless.