The State government is facing a difficulty in converting the Bangladeshi vessel MV Maa, which ran aground near Tenneti Park and was written off as a total loss, into a tourist attraction.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has already signed an MoU with Shore and Ship Resorts Private Limited to use the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mechanism to convert the ship into a tourist attraction with a restaurant on board. The initial obstacle, though, is to keep the ship in the same place where it went aground. Another difficulty is maintaining the structural integrity of the ship while following Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations.
The 3,000-tonne Bangladeshi vessel MV Maa, previously known as Hai Phong-45 and sailing under a Vietnamese flag, got aground near Tenneti Park on October 13, 2020, due to bad weather.After unsuccessful towing attempts, the ship was taken over by a private firm called Gill Marines, whose subsidiary Shore and Ship Resorts signed a deal with the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) to turn it into a restaurant.
Experts say, however, that the challenge begins now. The ship ran aground at a dangerous angle and is currently resting on a rocky outcropping. The ship sits with a 7 to 9 degree starboard tilt even after draining all of its ballast and oil.
The project’s architect, K. Ratna Tej Reddy of Building Grammar, notes, “Our first task was to level the angle and straighten it as far as possible so that the ship is parallel to the shore, as tourists would find it impossible to embark at a critical angle.”
Contractors employed a couple of crawler-mounted large earthmovers to correct the tilt and set the angle right, taking advantage of the buoyancy caused by Cyclone Jawad’s high tides. “There’s a slight tilt,” he said, “but it’d be solved.”
The most crucial thing is to maintain the ship’s current position. The buoyancy factor during high tides can dislodge the ship and change its angle and tilt, despite the fact that it lies on a bed of rocks. We’re anchoring it to plates anchored and fixed to the bedrocks with mooring ropes and chains, keeping this in mind.
The plates are attached to a depth of roughly 1 m inside the rocks with 30 mm bolts that can bear the stress and tension. Mr. Ratna Tej said, “We’re also aiming to build an artificial breakwater on the starboard side to decrease the impact of the waves and current,” and that a sand bank will be constructed in the future in order to lessen the impact of waves lashing the hull.