Mon, 18 Nov, 2019

Imminent danger of tanker’s bottom breaking: MPT to HC

CM says there are no leaks, regular checks being carried out

09th November 2019, 03:01 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

Even as the State government on Friday sought to play down fears of a disaster due to the grounding of the naphtha-laden tanker off Dona Paula, the Mormugao Port Trust has told the Bombay High Court that the ill-fated tanker faces the “imminent danger” of its bottom breaking and letting off the 2000-odd metric tonnes of naphtha besides diesel and oil into the sea.

The MPT said it will begin salvage operations of ‘MT Nu Shi Nalini’ grounded since October 24 as “there is an imminent danger of the vessel’s bottom breaking and of 2000 tonnes of naphtha on board the vessel together with diesel and heavy oil leaking into the sea.”   

MPT which filed an intervention application in a commercial admiralty suit between Samson Maritime and MV Nu Shi Nalini, told the High Court that “in view of the inclement weather she dragged anchor and is now grounded within the port’s limits.”   

The Port has been directed by the Government of India to salvage the vessel and that the defendants which include the ship owners M/s Arya Ship Charterers Pvt Ltd have undertaken that they will reimburse all expenses for salvage.   

“[We] will take appropriate steps to recover their expenses and port dues and if advised to claim salvage remuneration [we] may file appropriate action to that effect,” MPT told the High Court.   

The Port also told the Court that it is in talks with various salvage firms and that they would be appointing one 

“very soon.”   

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday repeated his claims that there are no leaks in the grounded vessel and regular checks are being carried out.   

“Who has gone to see the leaks? Regular checking is being done. People should not be misguided over such issues. Our disaster management team is fully working on it,” Sawant claimed referring to fears being expressed by various quarters on possible untoward incidents.   

Separately, his cabinet colleague and ports minister, Michael Lobo, also claimed that the ill-fated tanker is being monitored on a daily basis.   

Tug boats, boom barriers, pumps and other equipment are kept ready for any eventuality of leakage of oil, diesel, etc, Lobo said and advised Opposition politicians to refrain from making vague statements and scaring fishermen and people. 

The 11,000-tonne capacity chemical tanker was grounded around 500 metres off the Marivel beach in Dona Paula on October 24 and has been lying there after it broke anchor and drifted in stormy weather associated with cyclone Kyarr.   

Repeated deadlines set by the state administration to have the ship towed away have not been met.