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Cargo vessel that sank  

Whose wreck is it anyway?

Remember Black Rose, the Mongolian flag carrying cargo vessel that sank off Paradip port September last year, killing its chief engineer? The wreck has not been salvaged. Fortunately, it is not blocking the navigable channel of the port. But there were lots of problems. There was no insurance coverage for the vessel and the documents filed in this regard were found to be improper.

The vessel's owner could not be traced first. When traced, he declined to shoulder the responsibility of the salvaging operation, which entails huge cost. The shipping agent too filed a petition in Calcutta High Court pleading that it should not be pressurized to share the cost of salvaging. It was, therefore, presumed that the burden would ultimately fall on the port authorities.

Recently, Orissa High Court, responding to a PIL, ruled that the district administration will be the receiver of the wreck and will engage the salvage company. But the port authorities and the shipping ministry too must cooperate. This means the shipping ministry might be required to cough up funds.

News & Views TODAY   (20th   December 2010)

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