Industry body Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) said it plans to meet soon with Minister of State for Shipping Shripad Naik to discuss the issue of shore leave permits for Indian seafarers at the port of Mumbai. Shore leave allows crew members to leave the ship for a limited period of time to take a break from their work. The length of the holiday may vary depending on the planned layover time of the ships in port.
The central government issues such permits to seafarers working on board ships calling at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. However, seafarers on board ships calling at the Port of Mumbai are not granted shore leave.
“A delegation of senior MASSA members will shortly meet with Union Minister of State for Shipping Shripad Naik in Mumbai to discuss the issues related to the Indian government’s refusal to go ashore at the Port of Mumbai,” it said Girish Phadnis, Chairman of MASSA.
The meeting with Naik, Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways, is expected to take place as early as June 25, which is also commemorated as “International Seafarers’ Day,” Phadnis said.
Both Mumbai Port and JN Port are among the 12 major ports under the administrative control of the central government.
MASSA said denying shore leave to “seafarers who have the right to shore leave is a grave injustice”.
In the pre-Covid era, seafarers were also allowed to go ashore at the Port of Mumbai, the industry body said.
It is said that seafarers who work without sufficient shore leave are more prone to mental fatigue, which seriously affects their productivity.
According to MASSA, around three million highly skilled Indian seafarers serve various specialty cargo and cruise ships around the world throughout the year.
Confined spaces and monotonous everyday life often lead to boredom, homesickness, stress and depression for seafarers on board cargo ships. The mental health of seafarers is thus strengthened by country papers, it said.