DG Shipping tasked with handling naphtha tanker crisis

National | Written by : IANS| Updated:

DG Shipping tasked with handling naphtha tanker crisis

Panaji, Nov 7 (IANS) Director General (Shipping), a Central government body which functions under the aegis of the Union Shipping Ministry, has been tasked with the responsibility of finalising marine engineering experts to salvage naphtha from a tanker stranded off the Panaji coast, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday.

"At present DG (Shipping) has taken the responsibility of emptying the tanker Nu-Shi Nalini of the naphtha it is carrying in its hold," Sawant told reporters here.

"A committee of five members has been formed, which will finalise the salvaging experts for the purpose. Two quotations are being examined," Sawant said. The committee is in touch with two Singapore-based salvaging firms, he also said.

Apart from three DG (Shipping) officials, Goa Chief Secretary and chairman of the Mormugao Port Trust are part of the committee, the Chief Minister said.

The unmanned tanker Nu-Shi Nalini ran aground on October 26 on the rocky shelf off Panaji near Raj Bhavan -- the official residence of the Governor -- after it was caught in a storm and has not moved position since.

A multi-agency operation, involving the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Director General (Shipping), the Mormugao Port Trust and other state agencies, was subsequently launched to transfer the naphtha and nearly 50 tons of oil and 19 tons of diesel to other vessels.

The joint operation, however, failed on account of stormy weather and a minor accident, resulting in the vessel continuing to pose a threat to the coastal area, on account of its hazardous cargo.

Sawant said, that every care was being taken to ensure that there is no untoward incident, while explaining the delay extrication of the vessel and its cargo.

"The process has taken time because of the care which needs to be taken while transferring the naphtha from one ship to another. There is no need to worry," Sawant said.