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Wisdom stranded

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The South Mumbai coastline has still not recovered from the disaster of last year. Now North Mumbai has problems. MV Wisdom was stranded there almost three weeks ago. This led to interesting crowd control problems, as HT reports:

MV Wisdom stranded on Juhu Beach

As curious Mumbaiites flock to Juhu beach for a glimpse of the stranded cargo vessel, MV Wisdom, the police and the lifeguards are struggling to keep them out of the rough monsoon sea. Three people have already drowned since the ship got stuck off the Juhu coast on June 11. All three had been trying to get closer to the ship and were swept away by waves.

Every day more than 2,000 people visit the beach just to see the ship, according to the police and lifeguards. “There has been a huge increase in the number of visitors coming to the beach ever since the ship got stranded. It is very difficult to control this over-excited crowd,” said a lifeguard on the beach, requesting anonymity.

Every day at least one person has to be rescued from drowning, the police said. “People don’t listen to us when we warn them against going into the sea. The ship has become a nuisance for us,” said Madhukar Chaudhari, senior inspector of Santacruz police station.

So far, at least 15 rescue operations have been conducted to pull people out from the sea. The Santacruz police have now deployed a special team to stop people from going too close to the ship.

People are argumentative and rude when they are stopped from going into the sea, another lifeguard, who also did not wish to be named, said. “People tell us to mind our business. They say they know what they are doing and that we should not bother about their safety,” he said.

Sounds depressingly familiar. Then there is garbage, as TOI reports:

The problem is the copious quantities of garbage strewn by people on the beach. Making the matter worse is the complete inaction of civic authorities, who have let the rubbish rot.

Near the Theosophical Colony, there is a six-feet-high hillock of garbage. “It just shows the extent to which the bleach cleaning system does not work. Only 20 workers have been put on contract by the BMC for the work. The new contractor has no beach-combing machines. Years of labour by locals has gone down the drain,” said Kumar. “The ship is another torture for the locality, because of the sheer volume of crowds it pulls in.”

And now, there is oil, possibly leaking from the stranded ship, as NDTV reports:

But the prolonged presence of the vessel has quickly turned the entire region into an eyesore, choking the waters with plastic, and roads with traffic.

The ship is possibly plunging the surrounding waters into an ecological disaster. Traces of oil were found in its vicinity yesterday, compelling the police cordon off the stretch. A kilometer-long oil slick could be seen lining the coast, possibly caused by seepage of what appeared to be the heavy fuel used to propel ships.

Juhu residents, however, claim that this is a regular phenomenon in monsoons. Experts however, have scoffed at the residents’ naivete.

“Any vessel invariably contains substantial quantities of sludge or residual oil, which has to be drained out before the vessel is dismantled for scrapping. Otherwise, it could pose a threat to the environment,” said marine engineer Mehernosh Shroff.

Scientist-in-charge Dr Shankar Gajbiye at the National Institute of Oceanography said, “I haven’t received any information on the oil slick.

If the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board informs us, we will deploy a team for inspection.” He pointed out the necessity to distinguish between a tar ball, oil or oil residue, saying, “If lumps are seen in the slick, then the source needs to be detected immediately.”

In these days of GPS, why do ships run aground so often in Mumbai?

July 2, 2011

HT reported the end of this story:

After over 20 days and three failed attempts to refloat the scrapped cargo ship MV Wisdom that ran aground at Juhu Beach, maritime authorities on Saturday succeeded in refloating the ship. Taking advantage of the high tide, salvage company SMIT International used two powerful tugs to pull the 9367-ton ship out of the ground.

The ship will be towed to Mumbai outer anchorage and would be eventually towed to Alang-Bhavnagar Gujarat for scrapping, said officials from the ministry of shipping.

The investigation into a case of dereliction of duty against the captain and crew members of MV Seabulk Plover, which was towing MV Wisdom, is underway and its report is expected in a fortnight.

So is it true that all the ships that run aground in Mumbai are vessels being towed improperly to the ship-breaking yards in Alang?

August, 2011

Later problems along the coast of Mumbai are described here. Earlier problems here.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

June 29, 2011 at 6:09 am

One Response

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  1. […] Pavit. This abandoned Panama registered ship washed up on Juhu beach, which had only recently been cleared of another washed up ship. Some reports claimed that it was abandoned near Oman a couple of days earlier, but […]

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