by Hans | December 8th, 2010
The Kolkata port is in deep trouble. A container ship, MV Tiger Spring, which was damaged badly in a collision with MV Green Valley on November 23, could sink, completely blocking the channel.
In the Monday morning, it slipped 200 metres into the Hooghly channel. Around 8pm, a Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT)official said that it is feared to “sink in a few hours”. The crippled ship is still loaded with containers and is already blocking a part of the channel. Movement of ships to and from the Kolkata Dock System (KDS) came to a complete stop on Monday.
“After the ship got stranded, the river started carving out another deep channel. This will take some time. Till then, movement of ships has to be controlled. We have to wait till February-March for the new channel to stabilize before resuming full-fledged operations,” an official said. “Till then, it will be touch and go.”
Once the ship sinks, movement of vessels along the Hooghly will turn into a very tricky affair. Every ship will have to chart its own course by checking the draft, taking great caution to bypass the wreckage of Tiger Spring
“The wreck will turn into a spur that will divert the flow of water elsewhere. A similar incident happened in 1997 when a ship capsized in a shallow channel near Birlapur. When a new channel emerged, it was much deeper. Hopefully, the same thing will happen again but it will take time,” another official said.