The authorities at GPL (Gopalpur Port Ltd), which is in the middle of major port expansion works, refused permission to the luxury cruise liner Silver Discoverer to berth at its docks. The authorities were approached by ship's stevedoring agency and tour operator in order to allow the vessel to dock.
Apart from a total of 1000 workers, a large amount of onshore/offshore equipment was deployed and continuous activity is currently underway. The port neither is designed nor has any provision for passenger movement.
In a statement, the GPL authorities said that "in line with its policy of international best practices in safety and security," the port had informed J M Baxi & Travel Link Tour Operator well in advance about the inability to ensure passenger’s safety, and they were accordingly advised to make alternative plans for international visitors.
Factors like ongoing construction activities, limited immigration facilities, and an inadequate facility for a safe landing, would have been unacceptable to the management of the port and the Government of India. Permission to the vessel to dock could have reflected poorly on country's tourism, the statement added.
Silver Discoverer (part of Silversea Expeditions fleet) is due to set sail on a chartered voyage to India, Bangladesh, Myanmar out of homeport Chennai on Tuesday, January 22. The ship will anchor at Paradip Port in Odisha for the first time on January 26.
For other Silver Discoverer accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.