New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The government will chart out a plan for evacuation of seafarers stuck on international waters amid COVID-19 pandemic, Union Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya said on Monday.
Thousands of Indian seafarers are currently stuck aboard cruise and cargo vessels in far off waters, and maritime bodies had demanded plans for bringing them home fearing that delays might result in disruption in supply chain.
“I am trying to get the details of stranded seafarers. Based on it, the Shipping Ministry will chart out a plan for evacuation of stuck seafarers,” Shipping Minister Mandaviya told PTI.
He further said: “I am concerned about the challenges faced by the Indian seafarers in these testing times and I appreciate their work for moving the supply chain in the world.”
The minister said the evacuation will be done when the situation eases and added that the process for sign-off on Indian ports will be fastened.
The minister has asked the shipliners and maritime bodies to provide the details of stranded Indian seafarers in international waters.
Mandaviya said the Shipping Ministry is also drawing a standard operating procedure (SOP) for easing out sign-on and sign-off process at the Indian ports.
PTI on Sunday had reported that maritime bodies had sought the PMO and Shipping Ministry”s intervention for bringing back stuck seafarers.
With the Indian airspace remaining closed for domestic and international passenger flights, the bodies have sought government intervention for devising a strategy to bring back such “essential supply workers”.