Feature: MV MA Lisha’s inaugural trip marks a historic moment for Region One and Guyana
The MV MA Lisha, an impressive $2.5 billion (US$12.7M) Indian vessel embarked on its inaugural journey on Thursday afternoon, setting the stage for transformation in Guyana’s transport sector.
This development has opened the gateway of new possibilities, particularly in Region One, further propelling the country towards a brighter future under the ‘One Guyana’ initiative.
An immediate result of this is the enhanced travel experience for those journeying to the region, as the state-of-the-art vessel promises to revolutionise travel dynamics, heralding an era of comfort, convenience and efficiency.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) took the opportunity to engage a diverse group of passengers, who expressed a renewed sense of hope that comes with this new addition.
Simone Baston, expressed her relief, “I thank the president, all those ministers for providing a new boat so we could breathe good, get fresh air because for a long time, we suffered in the old boat.”
Emmer Gomes, a 79-year-old citizen, echoed the sentiment, describing her experience as “Very good, exciting, amazing, beautiful.”
Iris Agustus, said, “I am very proud about it because years that come, we never get a boat like this.”
Ann Pang, at 87 years old was the vessel’s eldest passenger, with immense joy she related, “Me feel nice, I know how I’m traveling in this boat. I am traveling by myself but with God. I travel so livelily on this boat and it nice because it clean, everything is clean in this boat. Not like the boat that we use to travel before when you go, oh my gosh you seeing all things in the toilet, in the bathroom full up but praise god this thing here is very nice.”
Trisha Ramsingh, embarking on her maiden journey while acknowledging the inclusion of modern amenities, said, “So far very comfortable and we feel much better that we have a new boat now.”
The economic impact of the MV MA Lisha was not lost. Nalini Rose, another first-time traveller, highlighted the cost-effectiveness of this mode of transportation, underscoring the potential for significant savings compared to air travel.
“I decided to travel because it was the new boat that we receive, so I was eager and anxious to travel on it and I think we can save a lot because the plane ticket is so high it’s like $23,000 to go and to come on the boat its just $2,000 or $3,000. This is very beneficial to the region because we can carry more passengers and also more cargo can go on the boat. I like it.”
Added to this, the vessel will help to further bolster the region’s development which will see an increase in commerce and an influx of travellers both Guyanese and tourists.
The government’s aim of increasing food production in the region to boost the food security efforts will be realised as more cargo can now be transported to the region in a timely manner.
In celebration of this feat, the 275 Guyanese who were part of the MV MA Lisha’s maiden voyage were greeted by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, who shared tokens to mark the momentous occasion in the country’s history.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Transport and Harbours Department, Rosalinda Rasul, overseeing the ‘Ferry Pass’ booking, revealed the overwhelming response to the MV MA Lisha, noting that, “this is the first time that we have seen a complete booking using the ferry pass.”
Due to the immense turnout of passengers, the General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) announced that another boat is scheduled to ply the route next Tuesday.
As Captain Courtney Mandela navigates the MV MA Lisha, India’s First Secretary, Mukesh Kaushik representing the Indian High Commissioner said that this journey symbolises more than just a mode of transport.
It embodies the flourishing camaraderie between India and Guyana, encapsulated in the vessel’s name – MV MA Lisha, “Friendship”.