Mumbai: In a memorandum, the Akhil Bharatiya Navik Sangh office-bearers led by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar claimed that Afcons Infrastructure, the contractors of Barge P-305 which sank in the Arabian Sea on May 17, kept the vessel in the sea beyond May 15 without getting any approval from ONGC, Offshore Defence Advisory Group, Ministry of Defence, 2021, which is a gross violation of the norms. Afcons did not get the extension of the Naval Security Certificate which is mandatory to sail in the ONGC field as per Mumbai port Trust circular no DC/C-SH/4104 dated August 22, 2014.
‘’Unfortunately, despite well defined and described warnings of the gravity of the cyclone, Afcons continued in its commercial operation disregarding the eventuality of the vulnerability of human life and assets. Afcons could have easily made arrangements to move the barge to a safer place to secure precious human life and assets of contractors/subcontractors,’’ said the Sangh in its memorandum.
‘’We also understand that one of the consortiums was not active in the said project and hence Afcons could not handle the prevailing situation. The irresponsible and scathing behaviour resultantly caused the barge to sink, injury cost to a large number of persons and loss of human life of sizable numbers so far reported,’’ said the Sangh.
According to the Sangh, the master was guided to go by Afcons' instruction ignoring the appeal made, safety of the vessel and person on board. The master cautioned that the life rafts/boats are not serviced and have been overdue and therefore an element of risk was enormous.