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From our special correspondent

Panaji, Jun 1: As rough weather continued in the Arabian sea, the Goa government has restricted barges carrying ore and tourist laden cruise ships from venturing into the sea.

The coastal belt has witnessed sinking of four trawlers and a barge going aground near Miramar beach since the monsoons have begun here. The gusty winds continued its fury in the state affecting the coastal villages.

The state authorities who observed uninterrupted movement of barges and cruises in Arabian sea even during the incessant rains have put their foot down and decided to issue strict warning to the operators.

"Barges carrying iron ore to the Mormugao Port Trust are diverted through Cumbharjua canal so that their route is restricted to inland waters while cruises are strictly adviced not to venture in the sea," Captain A P Mascarenhas stated.

The captain of ports who monitors state's all the inland water ways has said that the Aguada sand bar was closed for traffic till further orders. Most of the water-bound traffic had to take aguada sand bar route to enter Arabian sea.

Around 250 barges are operating in the state mostly carrying iron ore from different downloading stations to Murmagao port and Panaji minor port.

With the diversion in the route, the barges will now have to take 17-km-long Cumbharjua canal to reach to the ports.

Though the port has issued warnings, it has also kept its machinery as standby to rescue any ship. "Boats are ready to respond in case of any distress call," Capt Mascarenhas said. 


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