Panaji: A huge oil tanker ship that had
run aground on Goa`s Candolim beach 12 years ago will finally
vanish from the spot by the end of the next month, as it is
being broken into parts by professional ship-breakers, senior
officials said today.
State Tourism Director Swapnil Naik said that the
wreckage of MV River Princess, a 26 metre long cargo ship that
had hit the beach, owing to troubled weather in the year 2000,
is being broken and removed by a Mumbai-based ship breakers.
Naik said that almost 80 per cent work of breaking and
taking away the ship in parts has already completed, while the
remaining work will be over by the end of next month.
Mumbai-based Arihant Ship Breakers Pvt Limited was
given the contract of cracking the ship. After several
attempts to tow away the ship had failed, the authorities were
forced to allow the vessel to be broken, despite environmental
The existence of the ship had also resulted in the
sand erosion on Candolim beach, which is adjacent to the
picturesque Calangute beach in North Goa.
Several measures like geo-tubes to control the sand
from crumbling in the water had been taken, but in vain.
Naik said that the company was awarded 180 working
days to remove the wreckage as per the contract. "They should
be able to finish the work within the given time," he said.
The company, which began the work in March 2011, had
taken a break owing to the monsoons, which makes weather
unfavourable for the salvage operations.
"We will count the exact working days that the company
has worked. Sometimes, they had to curtail the work halfway
due to gusty wind conditions, all the factors would be
counted," Naik said.
Few local people also expressed concerns that the
removal of the ship may create a depression in the area,
resulting in the cases of drowning of tourists alongside.
Xavier Machado, a local, said that lifeguard services,
employed by the Tourism Department, should be informed about
the hazards, once the ship is removed from the location.
He said that a false current can be created as the
ship being tucked in the seabed for the past 12 years thus
creating a hole at the site.
"At least for a few days, lifeguards should disallow
swimming in and around Candolim beach," said Macheado, who
runs a shack at Calangute beach.
Candolim beach has reported few cases of drowning in
the recent past due to uncertain current created due to
existence of the huge ship.