Families of 23 stranded Indian sailors stuck in Chinese waters breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after the Centre announced that they will return home on January 14.
Union Minister for ports, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday that diplomatic talks are being going on successfully with the neighbouring country.
In a Twitter post he said, "Our seafarers stuck in China are coming to India. Ship MV Jag Anand, having 23 Indian crew, stuck in China is set to SAIL toward Chiba, Japan, to carry out crew change, will reach India on 14th January."
The cargo ship MV Jag Anand is set to sail towards Chiba in Japan, Mandavia added.
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, Mandavia said it was only becoming possible because of PM Modi.
Our Seafarers stuck in China are coming back to India!— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) January 9, 2021
Ship M. V. Jag Anand, having 23 Indian crews, stuck in China, is set to sail toward Chiba,Japan to carry out crew change, will reach India on 14th January.
This could only happen due to strong leadership of @NarendraModi ji
In another Twitter post, he acknowledged the humanitarian approach of the Great Eastern Shipping Company towards the seafarers and standing by them in this crucial time.
I deeply appreciate the humanitarian approach of the Great Eastern Shipping Company towards the seafarers and standing by them in this crucial time!@GE_Shipping— Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) January 9, 2021
The statement had come a day after the External Affairs Ministry had said that 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.
Mandavia had said in December that there is no 'link' between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India and Australia.
"There is a considerable amount of stress on the crew members on account of this unprecedented situation," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had 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 had 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 had said.
Asked about India's concern relating to the Indian crew members of the ships and whether China’s decision on this issue has related to the current situation between India, China and Australia, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin had last week told a media briefing that "we stated repeatedly that China has clear stipulations on quarantine measures".
"Concerning this, China has stayed in close communication with the Indian side and responding to their requests as well as providing necessary assistance for them," he had said.
"As far as I understand, China allows the crew change while meeting certain quarantine conditions. But this Jingtang port is not in the list for such crew changes," he had said but did not refer to the 16 crew members of Caofeidian port.
China last month had blamed the freight forwarder of Jag Anand ship for the impasse, saying he is not letting the ship to leave.
(With PTI Inputs)