Pelni to provide 72 ships for Eid Holiday

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - PT Pelayaran Indonesia (Pelni) will deploy 72 ships to carry Eid holiday travelers across the country this year, Presda Simangasing, the companys Surabaya general manager, stated here, Monday.

"The fleet includes 26 passenger ships and 46 pioneer ships," he said, while receiving legislator Bambang Haryo Soekartono.

"We can guarantee that all our ships are seaworthy, as they have all undergone docking for maintenance," he added.

The capacity of the passenger ships varies from 500 to 3,000, but to meet the holiday season, Pelni has increased the capacity in each of its ships, ranging from 33 percent to 77 percent, to ensure seats are available for the economically disadvantaged passengers, he explained.

"So, people need not worry about the capacity. We can assure them a comfortable and cheap fare," he remarked.

Simangasing has estimated the number of Eid holiday makers to increase by five percent this year, compared with last year.

"We have also provided a passenger ship for free to support the Eid program of the transportation ministry," he revealed.

The free passenger ship will be provided for the Jakarta-Semarang (C Java) service.

Legislator Soekartono has appealed to the ministry of transportation to inform the public about the free service.

"People must be informed about the schedule (free service)," he said, while warning against the underutilization of the program funded by the national budget.

He also appealed to the National Search and Rescue (Basarnas) and Sea Security Agency (Bakamla) to put in place safety measures for the passengers.

"It is not only Pelni, but Basarnas, as well as Bakamla, who are responsible for passenger safety. The two institutions must determine the strategic points to carry out safety operations in the sea," he noted.(*)