Visakhapatnam: An abandoned cargo ship that is being turned into a floating restaurant will be open to the public by December end.

The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is planning to renovate the cargo ship into a floating restaurant at an estimated cost of Rs. 15 crore. It will be the first-of-its-kind on the East Coast.

While the primary works are underway, APTDC officials have decided to allow the public to view the inside of the cargo ship. The Bangladesh cargo ship MV MAA which is abandoned at Tenneti Park beach will be open to the public by December end.

While tourists will be allowed to view the inside of the cargo ship, the floating restaurant project will be developed on a PPP mode in a phased manner. According to the officials, the team will initially start with outdoor activities, after which the restaurant work will begin and is likely to be completed by next year.

It may be recalled that the 900-tonne cargo ship beached in the early hours of 14 October 2020 at Tenneti Park. Though it attracted many tourists with photos and posts flooding social media, technical issues and challenges have delayed the tourism department's idea to turn the ship into a floating restaurant.

The project will be taken up by a team led by structural engineer Dr. Ratna Tej Reddy and architect B.M.N Chakravarthy. The team is affiliated with the design firm Building Grammar.

The floating restaurant will have multi-cuisine kitchens, an open-air cafe, and a large indoor dining area. In addition to this, it will also boast a three-acre private and public beach area with shacks, street shopping facilities, water sporting spaces for beach volleyball, a children's park, and an outdoor gym.

Explaining the difficulties of the project, Dr. Reddy said, "The engineering challenges that must be overcome are many. One of the difficulties will be to rectify the ship's tilt. The vessel will be attached with high tension wire ropes at various strong points abreast the ship in order to be winched with enough draw force to rectify the tilt and thus anchor it to the ground."

Another challenge, he said, is to level the ground in order to facilitate a flat base for a uniform load transfer of the vessel to the ground. This technique entails the placement of geo tubes near the ship in order to assist the gradual deposition of sand by waves. The waves will have an impact on the stern of the ship. To overcome this, the team will build a special structural frame with dampeners to break the waves.

Architect Chakravarthy said the complete landscape will be incorporated with modern systems that promote sustainability such as solar energy, wave/current energy, recycled/upcycled building materials while also maintaining the originality of the natural landscape.

Mr. Chakravarthy said, "The entrance area to the floating restaurant will be at the Jodugulapalem beach area. Around a three-acre beach area near the cargo ship will have outdoor sports activities, shops, and shacks for the tourists."

Photos by Arrangement

Sri Lakshmi Muttevi

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