Indian sailors who are stuck in China are slated to return next week. Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday that 23 Indian sailors stuck in China will return on January 14. The minister said that cargo ship MV Jag Anand is set to sail towards Chiba in Japan.
"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 ports, shipping and waterways minister said in a tweet.
He credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership for making this possible. Mandaviya also acknowledged "the humanitarian approach of the Great Eastern Shipping Company towards the seafarers and standing by them in this crucial time!"
Mandaviya said on December 30 that Indian sailors will be brought back soon and that diplomatic talks are on with the neighbouring country.
Two cargo vessels with Indian sailors 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.
China on December 25 had said that there is no 'link' between the stranded Indian ship crew on its Chinese ports and its strained relations with India and Australia.
The statement came 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.
"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.
(With PTI inputs)