India right now known as for “urgent, practical and time-bound” help to 39 stranded Indian sailors on board two ships in Chinese waters contemplating the “grave” humanitarian scenario growing within the vessels.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated Indian bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand has been on anchorage close to Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since June 13 and it has 23 Indian sailors.
Another vessel, MV Anastasia, with 16 Indian nationals as its crew is on anchorage close to Caofeidian port in China since September 20, he stated.
Mr Srivastava stated each these vessels have been ready for discharge of their cargo and there’s a rising stress on the crew members on account of the lengthy delay.
“Given this and our concern for the increasingly difficult conditions for our crew members, these two cases are being pursued vigorously,” he stated responding to a media question on the matter.
Mr Srivastava stated the Indian Embassy in Beijing continued to stay in shut and steady contact with the Chinese authorities in Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin, including the MEA can be following up on the matter via the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi for “an early resolution”.
“We have noted the statements of the Chinese side, expressing their willingness to extend their assistance in this matter. We expect that this assistance will be provided in an urgent, practical and time-bound manner, given the grave humanitarian situation that is developing on board the ships,” Mr Srivastava stated.
He stated the Indian Embassy has repeatedly taken up the problem with each the Chinese ministry of international affairs and the native provincial authorities, requesting that the ships be allowed to dock and/or the crew be allowed to be modified.
“They have been following up this matter for the last few months. The Indian Ambassador has personally taken up this issue with the Vice Foreign Minister. The Ministry has also been following this issue with the Chinese Embassy,” Mr Srivastava stated.
He stated the Chinese authorities have conveyed that on account of varied COVID-19-related restrictions imposed by the native authorities, change of crew is just not being permitted from these ports.
“While the shipping companies are examining the logistics of sailing the ships away from their current points of anchorage, our embassy is liaising with relevant authorities in Tianjin for berthing approvals to facilitate the crew change,” Mr Srivastava stated.
He stated the delivery corporations have been requested to make sure that they submit their plans for crew change on the earliest for approvals by the native Chinese authorities.
“We also understand that MV Anastasia is exploring the possibility of a crew change at sea at its current point of anchorage in Caofeidian. Our Embassy has yesterday written to Chinese authorities proposing this alternative and sought approval for the same,” he stated.
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