A 7 meter earthen embankment in Ghogha will register an accident
- Fear of ship collision when embankment disappears in high tide: gross negligence in GMB’s performance
- Illegal dumping of dredging waste materials right next to the turning circle of the Ro-Pax ferry project
Late on Thursday Dt.23rd November 2023 evening, a Ro-Pax ferry service vessel that left Ghogha for Hazira in India (Gujarat) grounded near the channel of Ghogha’s turning circle. At Ghogha a 7 meter earthen embankment is rocked right next to the turning circle and its silt is continuously flowing into the channel and circle, such earthen embankments have not been removed with the connivance of GMB officials.
There is fear of an accident in Ghogha due to the connivance of GMB officials and political leaders who have risen to turn the tide on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream Ghogha-Hajira Ro-Pax ferry service project. Dharti Dredging Company was awarded the contract to build the Ghogha’s Channel 5200 meters long, 100 meters wide, 6 meters deep, and 300 meters turning circle for Rs 192 crore. The dredging work was completed in April-2018. As per the terms of the agreement, dumping site of the dredging materials from the channel and turning circle will be 3 km. It was to be dumped in a designated dumping site far away. But under the watchful eye of the GMB officials, the dredging contractor dumped the dredging waste material right next to the turning circle and due to this the 7 meter embankment collapsed there.
Ro-Pax ferry vessel is in constant danger of accidents due to mud embankment caused by illegally dumped dredging material, and even after 5 years GMB is not bothering to remove the mud embankment.
It was due to GMB’s gross negligence that the Ro-Pax ferry project was taken away from the state government by the central government and handed over to the centrally-owned Dindayal Port Authority, Kandla. When its Chief Engineer Reddy was asked about the earthen embankment, he said that the responsibility for the earthen embankment is with the Gujarat Maritime Board. GMB Chief Civil Engineer, B.D.Talavia attempts to contact did not bother to answer the phone.
Who shelters the corrupt?
Under the watchful eye of GMB officials, Dharti dredging company violated the terms of the contract and dumped dredging materials beside the Ghoghani channel. Even after 5 years, the GMB and the government have failed to take action against the officials who allowed the earth dredging to dump material alongside the channel.
Voyage Express was grounded for the second time
9th Sep right next to turning circle in Ghogha. On 2022, the Voyage Express ship was grounded. Second time on 23rd November. On 2023 also, Voyage Express was grounded at this place.
Despite notice to the contractor, the embankment was not removed
In Ghogha, the dredged soil has been dumped beside the channel, the dredging contractor GMB has withheld Rs. But the removal of the 7 meter embankment where the dredging material is illegally dumped beside the channel is not being done by the GMB even after 5 years and due to this there is constant fear of accidents on the ferry ship traffic.
Ship with 165 vehicles, 401 passengers reached Hazira after 10 hours
The Ro-Pax ferry service connecting Bhavnagar’s Ghogha and Surat’s Hazira by waterway reached Hazira 10 hours after getting stuck in Ghogha’s turning circle at Otna, and the passengers heaved a sigh of relief. Voyage Express, a ro-pax ferry service vessel, departed from Ghogha to Hazira on 23rd at 5.45 pm and 170 meters away in the turning circle, due to a sea oat, the vessel ran aground on the side of the channel. At that time, the ship was carrying 176 vehicles like cars, trucks, bikes and 443 passengers.
With the help of two tug boats, the vessel was refloated at 10.10 pm on 23rd when the high tide started coming in the channel. and was brought to Ghogha Dolphin (JT) at 10.40 hrs. 11 cars and 42 passengers got off here.
Later at 11.50 pm the Voyage Express ship left for Hazira. And after a total of 10 hours from the scheduled time, it reached Hazira at 3.42 am on 24th with 165 vehicles, 401 passengers. According to the passengers, after the ship got stuck in turning circle, no accurate information was being given to the passengers by the operators, and after some time the ship stuck in the gale started tilting and the passengers panicked and put on life jackets due to power failure. Water and refreshments were made available to the passengers free of charge by the management after the heavy ruckus.