In a Zoom Webinar held yesterday (May 13) while interacting with the seafarers and their families, India’s minister of Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the stranded seafarers will be evacuated through the Vande Bharat mission. He further said that organisations willing to organise the evacuation of stranded Indian seafarers should reach out to the government as the authorities are ready to arrange charter flights to bring back the Indian seafarers safely.
Notably, the webinar was also addressed by India’s Director General of Shipping Amitabh Kumar.
During the Webinar, the Minister of Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said that “the Indian Seafarers who are stranded on ships in various parts of the world are required to register their names with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), then the Indian Government will make the necessary arrangements.”
The minister of shipping also assured the Indian Seafarer community that the Indian Government will leave no stone unturned to bring back the Indian Seafarers.
As per an office memorandum tweeted from Capt. Sanjay Prashar account, about 7000 Indian seafarers will be evacuated by Air India under Vande Bharat Mission.
Other Important points conveyed by Director General of Shipping, India:
- Ships diverting to Indian ports for crew change won’t have to pay anchorage charges except in Mumbai and Goa ports.
- DGS will not hesitate to use the funds from security amounts of RPSL companies.
- Any RPSL company refusing to allow crew change at Indian ports due to lack of funds can be reported to DG shipping.
Though one of the question which still remains unanswered is that what will be done to ensure Sign on of the Indian seafarers awaiting to join ships. As there is a sense of fear among the Indian seafarers that if their sign on is not ensured, they might be replaced with other nationalities.