River Princess ruins Candolim clean-up?

While the National Institute of Oceanography, at Dona Paula has chosen to remain silent over its survey findings at the River Princess site, indications are that a minimum of 500 tonnes of metal from the wreckage is still lying beneath the sand, which NIO has suggested should be removed. Some suspect that even a major portion of the ship’s hull lies beneath the sand.

According to NIO Director, S A Naqvi, the report of its recent survey at the site off Candolim-Sinquerim where the vessel was removed around five months ago has been submitted to the Tourism Department last week. However, the report is with key officials of the Department who are presently out of the country.

Calangute MLA Michael Lobo who has been closely monitoring these developments, as Candolim falls within his constituency said, “The ship breaking company Arihant Ship Breakers seem to be doing a re-think on this aspect.”

Lobo disclosed that he had interacted with the company partners recently when in Goa and they have expressed their willingness to remove the metal wreckage if any.

The question raised by concerned citizens and experts from maritime field is that there are more than metal objects buried. In fact they allege that a major portion of the River Princess’ hull lies buried 12 meters below the sand.

Herald has learnt from reliable sources that Arihant Ship Breakers is pressing for its payment or at least part of it which presently amounts to Rs 85 crore. Lobo agreed that there are a lot of questions that still remain unanswered, “But one fact remains that if there is something still remaining at the site it needs to be removed,” adding further that even 500 tonnes of metal whether in pieces or one piece are still a huge quantity. [H]