MV Nalanda, the 500 pax capacity special trade passenger ship built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) for the Andaman administration, has been inducted into service.

Lt Governor of Andaman Islands Admiral DK Joshi officially inducted the vessel into the fleet of the Directorate of Shipping Services, Andaman & Nicobar Administration at Haddo, Port Blair in the presence of Madhu S Nair, CMD, Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

The vessel second in the series of two 500 pax capacity ships would traverse mainly between the groups of islands of Andaman and Nicobar and also call the mainland as necessary. The vessel can carry a cargo of 150 tonnes of essential goods to remote islands.

In developing the basic design of the vessels, world-renowned naval architects Knud E Hansen, Denmark, collaborated with an Indian partner Smart Engineering and Design Solution, Kochi, while CSL handled the detailed production engineering design, bringing international technology under the ‘Make in India’ ambit.

CSL with its expanded facilities on the east and west coast including a new facility in Andaman will provide full life cycle support for its efficient operation.

Vessel features

As per Indian Merchant Shipping rules, the vessel, which can cruise at 16 knots, is built to the highest standards of the Indian Register of Shipping and the American Bureau of Shipping. It is also customised for Indian requirements with a high level of safety and comfort comparable to international standards.

It is equipped with 61 crew members, deluxe cabins, first-class and second-class cabins, bunk cabins, and seating cabins that can accommodate 500 passengers. The vessel has a modern cafeteria, recreation rooms, gymnasium, and library besides other modern amenities for passengers.

The ship is part of the order for a series of four vessels placed on CSL by the Andaman & Nicobar Administration under the ’Make in India’ policy. Two 500 pax cum 150-tonne cargo vessels have already been delivered and another two 1,200 pax cum 1,000-tonne cargo vessels are under construction at CSL.