Turning a wrecked ship in Vizag into a tourist spot is a difficult task

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Converting the Bangladeshi ship MV Maa, which ran aground near Tenneti Park and was later written off as a total loss, into a tourist site will prove to be a daunting task for the state government.

The government of Andhra Pradesh has already entered into a memorandum of understanding with Shore and Ship Resorts Private Limited to convert the ship into a tourist spot – with a restaurant on board – via the public-private partnership (PPP). However, the first challenge is to make sure the ship stays in the same position it ran aground in. Another challenge is to maintain the integrity of the ship’s structure and not to compromise Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) standards.

The 3,000-ton Bangladeshi vessel MV Maa, which was previously called Hai Phong-45 and sailed under the Vietnamese flag, ran aground near Tenneti Park on October 13, 2020 due to bad weather. After the failed tow attempts, a private company named Gill Marines took over the ship and its subsidiary Shore and Ship Resorts signed an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) to turn it into a restaurant.

But the challenge begins now, say experts. The ship ran aground at a critical angle and is now resting on a bed of rocks. Even after emptying all of her ballast and oil, the vessel was tilted 7 to 9 degrees to the starboard side.

“This was our initial challenge: to level the tilt and adjust the angle as far as possible, so that the ship was positioned parallel to the beach, as it would be difficult for tourists to board the ship at an angle. critical, ”explains K. Ratna Tej Reddy of Building Grammar, the project architect.

Taking advantage of the high tides under the impact of Cyclone Jawad, the contractors used some heavy tracked earthmoving machines to correct the tilt, as well as to adjust the angle, taking advantage of the buoyancy. “There is a slight tilt, but it would be corrected,” he said.

The ship is over 13 years old and a year of exposure to the humid climate of Visakhapatnam caused the ship to take on a layer of rust.

“The most important thing is to keep the ship in its current position. Even if it sits on a bed of rock, the buoyancy factor during high tides can dislodge the vessel and change its angle and tilt. Keeping this in mind, we tie it with ropes and mooring chains to plates anchored and secured to the bedrock. The plates are fixed with 30mm bolts which are fixed at a depth of about 1m inside the rocks and can withstand stress and tension. We are also trying to create an artificial breakwater on the starboard side to reduce the impact of waves and current ”, explains Mr. Ratna Tej, adding that a sandbank would be created in the future to reduce the impact. waves lashing the hull. .

Develop plans

The private company has developed elaborate plans for the project, which can cost up to 10 crore.

“The plan is to convert the two cargo hatches into a restaurant. While the iron hatch cover gives way to a clear glass ceiling, the other hatch will also have deck seating. We intend to have a seating capacity of 200, both on deck and below deck combined. That aside, we intend to use the bow and stern as a catering space, ”he says.

The architectural plan foresees a parking space for 30 cars on the seafront, a path leading to the ship, a private space that would include a beach cafe and a coconut grove with umbrellas and a public place with cabins and sports d ‘adventure.

“We are planning to have a swimming pool with a cafe or restaurant by the sea and an artificial waterfall. All structures will be temporary and environmentally friendly as per CRZ standards, including the trail, Ratna Tej said. The project should be ready within a year if things go as planned, the firm says.


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