Citizens' Issues
Expert says captain of MT Pavit must explain why a fine ship was abandoned

Security concerns still high as Indian Navy intercepts Iranian vessel drifting within Indian economic zone without intimation

The day after MT Pavit, the oil tanker which ran aground at Juhu in suburban Mumbai a fortnight back and was re-floated on Monday, a shipping veteran has demanded that the captain of the vessel be summoned, to find out why he abandoned the ship that had no fault in it.

"This is a clear case of incompetence," said Captain Ashok Malkani. "The MT Pavit, staunch , stout  and upright, was carried by the ocean currents for over a month, unmanned and adrift .It drifted unobserved , untracked and unreported till it gently washed up like some jetsam on Juhu beach." he said.

According to information available, the 999-tonne vessel was abandoned off the Oman coast on 29th July, apparently due to engine failure. The salvage operation that took about four days was completed yesterday and the ship is being towed to Dighi port in Maharashtra.

While describing the salvage operation as a perfect one, Captain Malkani said that the Directorate General of Shipping should inquire into the case and that the captain of MT Pavit should be called to testify about the circumstances in which the ship was abandoned. "This will also help clear doubts about whether there was any attempt to make a false claim on the insurance company," he said.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Shipping has said that it would undertake an investigation into the matter under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The directorate stated that, "The owners (of the MT Pavit) have been directed to summon the crew for making depositions before the investigating authorities."

Several security as well as environment concerns have been raised since the vessel ran aground on 31st July. Within a couple of days, yet another vessel, MV Rak Carrier, sank off Mumbai where it had been anchored for some days, apparently without the knowledge of the coastal and shipping authorities.

Rak was carrying 60,000 tonne of coal from Indonesia to Dahej in Gujarat, besides over 300 tonnes of fuel oil and more than 50 tonnes of diesel at the time. The Coast Guard and ONGC have been fighting the oil spill from the vessel which appears to have decreased.

Then on Sunday, the Indian Navy intercepted an Iranian cargo vessel  off Mumbai, which had been found to be drifting in the Arabian Sea, within India's exclusive economic zone, without any official intimation. MV Nafis was spotted during a reconnaissance air patrol. On a search of the ship, the navy police founder two AK-47s and a pistol. Five crew members have been detained.

Veeresh Malik, seafarer and Moneylife columnist, has consistently raised these questions and forcefully too, in the current instances. "The case of the Pavit is a complete mystery of how a ship that was allegedly sinking, landed up off Mumbai with oil drums lashed and intact on deck, is going to need more forensic capabilities than shown so far." (Read: "Why are overage ships with improper documents being chartered for Indian ports?")

EAS Sarma, former finance and power secretary, who is settled in Visakhapatnam, the Eastern Naval Command base, told Moneylife, "There have been many instances of ships having been abandoned off the Mumbai shore. There might be a possibility that these ships are dumping scrap in our waters, thinking that regulators won't take any action. So a thorough investigation from the security and environmental damage should be initiated."

Moneylife has raised these concerns in previous reports, but there has been little or no effective action to ensure that such instances do not recur. (Read, "Danger ahoy! Questions arise on Indian naval safety after repeated shipping fiascos".) 


Lanco Infratech Q1 net profit declines 9% to Rs235 crore

“The fall in net profit is largely due to power, the realisations from merchant power were high last year, but this year, they were low,” Lanco Infratech said

Lanco Infratech today reported a 9% decline in net profit for the quarter ended 30 June 2011, to Rs235 crore on account of a dip in revenue realisation from its power business.

The company, which has earmarked a capital expenditure of Rs8,000 crore for the current financial year, had posted a net profit of Rs257.4 crore for the corresponding period of the previous financial year (2010-11).

"The fall in net profit is largely due to power, the realisations from merchant power were high last year, but this year, they were low," Lanco Infratech CFO J Suresh Kumar told PTI.

The operating revenues of the company jumped 22% year-on-year to Rs3,115.2 crore in the first quarter of FY'12 from Rs2,561.1 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal. The company was not able to supply electricity to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka due to transmission grid congestion.

"We could not supply power to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka due to congestion in the grid," Kumar said, adding that the fault has been corrected now.

Lanco Infratech, which aims to commission three power projects this year, has earmarked a capex of Rs8,000 crore for the 2011-12 fiscal, which will be funded in a debt-equity ratio of 75:25.

"The debt portion amounts to nearly Rs6,000 crore and all of it has been tied up with various banks and financial institutions, including PFC, REC, Punjab National Bank, Uco Bank, etc," he said.

The remaining equity portion would be funded through internal accruals.

The company plans to commission the second 600-MW unit of its 1,200-MW (2x600 MW) Anpara thermal power project in Uttar Pradesh, a 742-MW gas-based power project at Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh and the 70-MW (2x35 MW) Budhil hydro power project in Himachal Pradesh during the current fiscal. The current installed power generation capacity of Lanco Infratech's projects is 3,292 MW.

On Tuesday, Lanco Infra ended 10.7% down at Rs16.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.65% to 16,730.94.


Supreme Infra Q1FY12 profit rises 64% to Rs25.57 crore

Supreme Infrastructure total income jumped 79% to Rs330 crore

Supreme Infrastructure India Ltd has posted a 64% rise in net profit at Rs25.57 crore for the quarter ended June 2011, compared to Rs15.59 crore for quarter ended June 2010. The company's total income jumped 79% to Rs330 crore. It has added two road BOT's during the quarter.

Vikas B Sharma, director, Supreme Infrastructure said, "We have started the year with good execution levels across projects. We have added projects in our BOT portfolio and are confident of ramping up operations to achieve greater results for our stake holders."

On Tuesday, Supreme Infra ended 1.28% up at Rs264.30 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.65% to 16,730.94.


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)