Govt. to spend Rs. 900 m for MRCC | Daily News


Govt. to spend Rs. 900 m for MRCC

Zahrah Imtiaz

The government is to spend Rs. 900 million in the next four years to build and upgrade the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) to provide ‘robust search and rescue services for vessels operating in the region’.

As per the Convention for International Civil Aviation 1944, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974, as well as the Law of the Sea Convention (LINCLOS), Sri Lanka s required to maintain a Maritime Search and Rescue Centre. At present, this is the responsibility of the Marine Shipping Secretariat and they have assigned the task to Sri Lanka Navy.

President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence, has proposed that these services be improved with greater infrastructure to establish Sri Lanka as ‘a premier maritime nation.’ He received cabinet approval this week.

Accordingly the project in partnership with the Merchant Shipping Secretariat, Sri Lanka Air Force and Coast Guard Department will build a main centre in Colombo, secondary centre in Hambantota, and seven sub-units in Galle, Trincomalee, Point Pedro, Mollikulam, Arugambay, Batticaloa, and Kallarawa. The budget for the projects will be from the National budgets for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

This would help Sri Lanka “respond immediately to vessels in distress within Colombo Search and Rescue zone in order to offer assistance.”

Yesterday, the Sri Lanka Navy help douse a fire on board a container ship traveling from Singapore to Egypt. The navy said it had received a distress call on Tuesday when the 14,000-container carrier was about 120 nautical miles (222 kilometres) away from Sri Lanka.

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