Indian Coast Guard asks MSC Chitra to cough up Rs 2.5 cr

Last Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 17:47

Mumbai: Indian Coast Guard (CG) on Thursday asked
the owner of vessel MSC Chitra to cough up Rs 2.5 crore for
the operations carried out to contain the oil spill damage
caused by the ship after it collided with another merchant
vessel.

The two merchant vessels, MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia-III,
had collided off the Mumbai harbour on August 7 causing a huge
oil spill that resulted in ecological damage.
Last month, the state government had sought Rs three
crore from MSC Chitra for clean-up operations carried out off
the coast of the state after it identified Chitra as a
`polluter` following the collision.

"We have written to the owners of MSC Chitra
(Mediterranean Shipping Company) to pay nearly Rs 2.5 crore as
we had to deploy our men, helicopters and vessels to carry out
various operations to tackle the situation after the mishap,"
S P S Basra, IG Coast Guard (Western region) told PTI.

"We had rescued crew members from the Chitra immediately
after the mishap, monitored the spreading of oil, thousands of
litres of chemical dispersants were sprayed on the high seas
to control the spread of oil," said another CG official.
Subsequently, other operations were also carried out
such as helping the Navy to clear the navigational channel as
several containers were floating in the sea.

"We have estimated the cost of all these operations and
asked the Chitra to foot the bill," the CG official added.

Meanwhile, DG of Shipping said it would complete its
probe into the collision in a couple of days.

"The report regarding the probe into the mishap would be
ready in a couple of days. We would send this report to senior
officials, who would go through it and take appropriate
decision," said S B Agnihotri, Joint Director General of
Shipping.

An estimated 400-500 metric tonnes of oil was spilled
from the vessel Chitra, carrying 2,662 metric tonnes of oil,
following the mishap.

Of the 1,219 containers on the ship, nearly 250 had
slipped into the sea due to the tilt.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 17:47

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