Forty-two seafarers have refused to disembark a cruise-liner caught in a legal tangle and abandoned by its owner for all practical purposes for almost a month now, fearing they will not be paid their dues if the left the ship. The department has promised to address their woes.
“I received complaints on Thursday about non-payment of dues to the crew. The situation is quite bad. I will send officers of my Marine Mercantile Department to the ship to conduct an investigation,” stated Director General, Shipping, India, Amitabh Kumar, in reference to the dire state of affairs onboard MV Karnika.
The crew of M V Karnika operated by Jalesh Cruises late on Friday stated that they had energy back-up to final solely 36 hours, after which they won’t be able to even charge their cell phones. For the previous week or so, they’ve survived on cornflakes for breakfast, pani-puri for lunch, and burgers for dinner as meals inventory is depleting quick.
With no air-conditioners or ceiling followers working, the lavish cruise-liner, stated Vikrant Thakur, a crew member, has became a scorching plate.
Thakur, 28, a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, who works in the engine department, stated the crew is unable to comply with any security protocols due to lack of energy. “If a cyclone hits, we will be sitting ducks,” he stated.
The crew members, who have been known as to hold routine upkeep, after the ship docked in August have been saved at nighttime concerning the authorized troubles by Mumbai, Khar-based Campbell Shipping Pvt Ltd, which holds the recruitment and placements companies license for the vessel. Apart from being positioned beneath arrest by the Bombay Port Trust following non-payment of dues, the cruise-liner can be beneath arbitration on the Bombay High Court due to unpaid payments to distributors.
As per the Seafarer’s Agreement, a sailor’s wage has to be credited earlier than the 30th of each month.
Despite that, the crew has not been paid since August and in keeping with them, the entire arrears stand at over $ 227,986 (roughly Rs 1.66 crore). Renold Albert Correia, 40, from Vasai, who’s employed as an engine fitter on the ship, stated he has two youngsters – 8 (y/o) and another five (y/o). “My father calls me every day. There are expenses to be met. These are anyways tough times. I can’t even go home and be with my family. If I leave the ship, I will never get my arrears,” he stated.
Sayeed Anwar, 37, a resident of Vashi, who’s employed as a fitter, stated the corporate promised him $1,910 (roughly Rs 1.39 lakh) a month. “I have not been paid a penny. My biggest fear is a blackout and we are just 36 hours from it. It is a scary situation,” he stated.
Crew members stated the ship’s govt committee comprising the grasp, the chief officer, and the chief engineer had a convention name with managers of Campbell Shipping on September 25 the place everyone was suggested to be affected, person. However, on Wednesday phrase arrived that each one of the funds shall be determined by the courtroom.
“Operations were at a standstill since March, leading to mounting debts. These creditors arrested the ship through the Admiralty Court, the administration would like to reassure the crew and their families that we have not forgotten about them. We have asked for urgent indulgence with the relevant authorities and are waiting for their feedback. In addition, we assure our crew members that they will receive their salaries as soon as the funds are received. Main priority is to reunite the crew with their families.” M V Karnika stated in an announcement launched on Friday late night, the dues of distributors mounted due to the devastation wrought upon the cruise business by the COVID-19 pandemic.