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Hazardous cargo ships must seek state govt nod: Minister for Ports

Mapusa: Stating that ships carrying dangerous cargo must obtain the state government’s approval henceforth before navigating Goan waters, Minister for Ports Michael Lobo Thursday said that he will request Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to write to the central authorities on the issue.

“I will request the Chief Minister to write to the Director General of Shipping and also the Mormugao Port Trust not to allow any such vessel transporting dangerous cargo, in Goan waters without the government’s approval,” said Lobo. The Minister for Ports was interacting with media persons at the government complex in Mapusa.

He further said, “I will also be moving a note to the Chief Minister requesting deployment of coastal police personnel in a Captain of Ports vessel for day and night monitoring of ship movement in the sea.”

Stating that the government has an important role to play, Lobo said, “Everything cannot be left to the MPT, as we can only allow regular cargo ships or ships bringing in passengers. Other than that, if any new vessel carrying any petroleum-related product or any dangerous item arrives, then the government’s approval should be a must.”

Lobo said that the hazardous naphtha-carrying tanker MV Nu Shi Nalini, which did not have a functional engine or crew, had drifted towards Dona Paula following a cyclone and remained grounded there over a rocky reef for 48 days, around 800 metres away from the Marivel beach.

“For the last 48 days, there was a hue and cry in the state and the Chief Minister was under tension due to the ship. Several meetings were held with MPT, DG Shipping and even at New Delhi to refloat the ship. The ship was finally refloated back by an agency and is now with the MPT,” he said adding that DG Shipping took the burden of refloating the ship.

“If any untoward incident had occurred due to leakage of the naphtha or the ship had developed a crack or sank, it would have resulted in a huge disaster badly affecting Goa’s environment and ecology,” said Lobo. 

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