Indian Coast Guard, on Thursday, diverted ICGS Samudra Prahari vessel from Mumbai to Goa as a part of precautionary measure in order to handle the possibility of oil spillage from the cruise liner ‘Qing’ at Western India Shipyard Ltd (WISL) jetty at Mormugao Harbour.
Deputy Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard, Goa region, Manoj Baadkar, however, ruled out any possibility of oil spillage from the cruise liner which has been berthed at the WISL jetty for the last three years owing to some repair work.
“As per my knowledge, there is no oil spillage from the cruise liner, but as a precautionary measure, the Indian Coast Guard has decided to bring in the pollution control vessel Samudra Prahari for surveillance,” Baadkar said, further informing that the pollution control ship has been diverted to Goa from Mumbai on Thursday. It was to reach Mormugao Harbour late in the night.
It is learnt that there is nearly 350 tonne oil in the fuel tank of the cruise liner and there are concerns that in case of spillage, the marine life and ecology could be at risk.
He disclosed that the Mormugao Port Trust is the coordinating agency and will coordinate with the cruise liner company and also with the WISL management for removal of the vessel. The officials of Goa State Pollution Control Board, however, on Thursday, collected the samples of the oil slick which appeared on the surface of the water near the cruise liner. “We have collected the samples and will submit the report to the District Collector, South for necessary action,” said a lady official attached to the GSPCB.
District Collector Swapnil Naik has directed the deputy collector and sub-divisional magistrate, Mormugao, Gaurish Shankhwalkar, mamlatdar Laxmikant Dessai and the GSPCB authorities to carry out inspection of the site where the cruise liner has been docked following directions issued by the Chief Secretary R K Srivastava.
It may be recalled that the cruise liner tilted on its side due to water ingression on Wednesday morning and failure to pump out the water.