Panaji, Oct 30 : Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that the process of emptying naptha-carrying vessel, which has run aground near the city, would be delayed as a hydraulic pump specially flown in from Mumbai by the Indian Navy, fell into the sea while it was being ferried to site.
Speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the accident would delay the process of emptying the stranded vessel by a couple of days.
"The process of emptying the vessel will be delayed by a couple of days, because of what has happened," he said.
The unmanned vessel 'Nu Shi Nalini' had run aground on October 26, 2019, on a rocky shelf and remained there since then. Though there was report of spillage of oil in the vicinity of the vessel, India Coast Guard (ICG) has stationed an oil spill response vessel to deal with the situation in case of emergency.
Multiple agencies including Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Director General Shipping, Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), are involved in an operation to transfer naptha, nearly 50 tonnes of oil and 19 tonnes of diesel from the vessel to another one. On the instruction of MPT, the vessel was anchored five miles away from Goa coast on October 24, in view of weather forecast of stormy condition off the coastline.
Already an FIR has been registered and police were investigating aspect of criminal negligence which could have led to the accident. Meanwhile, Congress has raised concern over the safety of people and marine life of the nearby area where the vessel is stationed.
It has also accused Goa Urban Development Minister Milind Naik of summoning the vessel, which was damaged, to Goa. "Since the ship was handicapped and contained naphtha cargo, Naik tried to strike a deal on behalf of a local firm to buy the naphtha in a distress sale. He is the one responsible for getting the vessel here, which is now an ecological risk," Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) President Girish Chodankar alleged during a press conference on Tuesday.However, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant gave a clean chit to his cabinet colleague saying Mr Naik had nothing to do with the incident.
Dr Sawant said the cargo of the vessel had been purchased by a firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and two barges of 200 and 400 ton capacity had been requisitioned to transport the cargo of naphtha."The barge will go into deep sea and transfer naphtha to the tanker which is coming from UAE. After the naphtha is emptied, the ship will be repaired," the Chief Minister said.(UNI)