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Friday, Aug 13, 2004

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Lakshadweep plans charter ship to connect mainland

Our Bureau

Kochi , Aug. 12

TO ease the transportation problem of islanders, the Lakshadweep Administration is planning to charter a ship between the islands and the mainland in a couple of months.

Participating in a meet the press programme at the Press Club here, the newly appointed Lakshadweep Administrator, Mr Sanjay Pratap Singh, said of that the four vessels currently operating from the islands, two are outdated and could not be put into service during monsoon.

The administration, therefore, decided to charter a vessel with a 500-600 passengers capacity to ferry the passengers between the islands and the mainland.

Mr Singh said that the Administration was prompted to plump for chartered shipping service in view of the fact that the ship being built at Visakhapatanam Shipyard for the Administration could not be commissioned even next year. At least 14 vessels were required to meet the travelling needs of the islanders to the mainland, he added.

A new proposal for the comprehensive development of Lakshadweep has been submitted to the Centre and of this, top priority would be given to transport. The proposal also includes various projects from other sectors such as health, education, tourism, fishery and power, he said.

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