New Delhi: For the first time in Indian maritime history, a ship designed and built in India by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Limited Kolkata, reached the Guyanese port of Georgetown on April 6, completing a journey of over 11,500 nautical miles. MV Ma Lisha is a modern Ocean-going Passenger-cum-Cargo Ferry that will operate from Georgetown to the North West District of the Caribbean nation.
The 70-metre-long Ferry, built in accordance with international standards, is capable of a speed of 15 knots and will cut the travel time between Georgetown and the North West District by nearly half. It is designed to carry a load of 250 tonnes that will include 294 passengers, 14 cars, two fully-loaded trucks and 10 containers. It also has a refrigerated area to carry perishables.
The MV Ma Lisha was built under a US$ 12.77 million Grant/Line of Credit from the Government of India to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. After signing the contract in 2021, GRSE completed the design and construction of the vessel followed by ‘Technical Acceptance’ within 23 months despite the COVID-19 pandemic. GRSE's Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Cmde PR Hari had flagged off MV ‘Ma Lisha’ from GRSE on January 12.
In a first of its kind ‘Float on- Float off’ operation at Chennai Port, MV ‘Ma Lisha’ was loaded on to the semi-submersible vessel MV ‘Sun Rise’ on January 23. MV ‘Sun Rise’ made its transatlantic voyage to reach the ‘Chaguaramas’ port in Trinidad on April 2. The MV Ma Lisha was unloaded from the ship a day later and set sail for Georgetown, Guyana. On this journey, along with three crew members from GRSE, the ship had a 14-member Guyanese crew on board led by veteran mariner Captain Courtney McDonald, director of maritime safety at the Maritime Administration Department of Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
MV ‘Ma Lisha’ will be formally delivered to Guyanese authorities at a befitting ceremony to be held at Georgetown later this month adding yet another feather to the cap of GRSE, one of India's leading Shipbuilders. Senior officials from the Government of India and GRSE are expected to be present during the formal handing-over ceremony. This will mark the start of a new era of friendship between India and the Caribbean nation, nearly 40 percent of whose population is of Indian origin - part of the great Indian Diaspora spread across the world. Coincidentally, the origin of Indians in Guyana can be traced back to the city of Kolkata, India way back in 1838.
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