India on Thursday said two cargo vessels with a total of 39 Indians on board have been on anchorage in Chinese waters as they were not allowed to unload their cargo though some other ships have managed to do so. "There is a considerable amount of stress on the crew members on account of this unprecedented situation," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
Srivastava said bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand is on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since June 13 and it has 23 Indian sailors. Another vessel, MV Anastasia with 16 Indian nationals as its crew, is on anchorage near Caofeidian port in China since September 20, waiting for discharge of its cargo, he said at a media briefing. "Our Embassy in Beijing has been in constant touch with provincial and central government authorities in China, requesting that the ships be allowed to dock and/or the crew be allowed to be changed," he said.
Srivastava said the Chinese authorities have conveyed that crew change is not being permitted from the ports on account of coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by the local authorities. "We also understand, however, that some other ships, which arrived after Indian ship had arrived, have actually managed to discharge cargo and leave. The reasons for this are not clear," he said, adding India has taken note of the Chinese foreign ministry's statement on Wednesday about the provision of necessary facilitation and assistance. "Our mission in Beijing continues to remain in touch with the Chinese authorities to seek their facilitation and assistance, which can lead to an early resolution of the issue and help ameliorate the situation of the crew," he said.