After a total shutdown for five days, two of the country's premier ports partially reopened on Thursday morning
The Indian Navy's Western Naval Command undertook 'Op Pathfinder'. The operation was undertaken to safely escort 13 vessels in and out of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Mumbai Port Trust.
Operation Pathfinder saw four ships of the Indian Navy, two Chetak helicopters and three specialised Survey boats, help guide vessels out of the ports.
The channel was rendered dangerous for navigation by the presence of numerous floating and sunken containers after two merchant ships MV Khalijia and MSC Chitra collided off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday morning and over 200 containers from MSC Chitra fell into the water. The channel was surveyed continuously for three days prior to undertaking the operation.
When asked about the losses, the Union Minister for Shipping, G. K. Vasan, evaded the question. "The point is to get the ports fully operational", he said.
The minister may avoid the obvious question, but the losses are for real
JNPT that handles close to 65 percent of container traffic in the country has lost Rs 2 crore every day, aggregating Rs 10 crore worth of revenue lost. The Mumbai Port has lost Rs 3.5 crore per day in losses, adding up to over Rs 17 crore.
The Federation of Indian Exporters is pegging its losses at Rs 12.5 crore a day with cargo stuck and deliveries delayed.
In all losses of over Rs 90 crore which will be stemmed once the waterway becomes fully operational. And that could take another month.
Meanwhile, there is no count of the damage to the environment, the marine life and the many trades that depend on these waters for sustenance.