Vasco: Indian Coast Guard rescued four crew members on Sunday morning from an off-shore casino vessel M V Lucky 7 which was grounded on sand bar off Miramar on Saturday night.
The MV Lucky 7 vessel with a crew of 19 members onboard was grounded on Saturday night on the sand bar while towing it in river Mandovi by using two tug boats from the front and the back. The rough weather made it worse for the vessel to remain afloat.
While towing the vessel, four crew members onboard suffered minor injuries. A helicopter borne rescue operation was conducted by Coast Guard on Sunday morning as the waves and weather made it difficult to rescue the crew members on Saturday night.
As per the information given Goa Coast Guard Deputy Inspector General Commander Manoj Baadkar, they received a call on Saturday at around 9 pm stating that four crew members suffered minor injuries and wanted to be airlifted. But the weather condition being worse a helicopter borne rescue operation was carried out on Sunday morning.
“The four crew members were later admitted to Manipal Hospital at Dona Paula for further treatment,” DIG Manoj Baadkar said.
The casino vessel MV Lucky 7 is owned by former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda.
There are five operational off-shore casinos in river Mandovi and Kanda's company M/s Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd is trying to restart his off-shore casino by renewing the licence and paying the pending dues.
Tourism Minister warns of action
Panaji: Tourism Minister Babu Azgaonkar on Sunday said that legal action would be initiated against concerned casino owners if the vessel, which had grounded on the sand bar, damaged beauty of the beach and hampered tourism.
Speaking to reporters, Azgaonkarf said,''We are not going to comment upon why and how the vessel has come but if it affects tourism we will not hesitate to take legal action.''
Goa Forward Party (GFP) president and TCP Minister Vijai Sardessai also criticised the attempt of towing the vessel in river Mandovi.
''As a real Goemkar, within the cabinet I am criticial of the decision of bringing the casino in the river,'' Vijai said.
I had warned Capt of Ports : Chodankar
All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Girish Chodankar said that he had warned Captain of Ports on July 6, not to succumb to pressure as he feared that there could be disaster with the entry of new casino vessel in river Mandovi.
''Last night illegal attempt was made to bring the new casino into river Mandovi by pressurising Captain of Ports. Some crew members of the vessel have been injured.'' Questioning that who had given authority to put to risk lives of so many persons, Chodankar demanded if somebody had pressurised Captain of Ports then he must be arrested and inquiry be initiated.
''On July 6 itself I had told the Goa government and Captain of Ports not to bring casino vessel in river Mandovi forcefully because water of the sea is choppy and channel is narrow. But government did not pay any heed. It is twisting its laws. We do not know why government is so munch interested in casinos that too using name of court,'' Chodankar said.
''The vessel has around 12,000 litres of diesel. If there is spillage of oil then it would cause great damage to environment in the sea,'' he said and demanded that Chief Minister Manohar Paarrikar must order an inquiry into the incident and those responsible for the incident be arrested.
AAP urges govt to do risk assessment
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has urging the government to take proper measure and to do a risk assessment before salvaging the vessel. It also asked the government to seek technical help from the marine industry.
AAP spokesperson Wenzy Viegas said that the MV Lucky 7 vessel was a blackout ship with no engine and generator. There was a clear circular from the captain of ports that river Mandovi was closed. The vessel was being moved from the Mormugao Port Trust (MPY) with the help of tug boat ropes which broke off with the rough weather. The charts shows clearly that vessels can not enter during the low as well as high tide due to sandbars. There are high chances of the vessel capsizing due to the weather,” he added.