Seeking expertise and measures for handling oil spillage in Mumbai,Maharashtra - What are the strategies to manage such incidents in the future?

From Ashok P. Ghule, District Disaster Mangement Authority, Thane, Maharashatra

Posted 12 August 2010

Around 9.50 am on 8th August, Panamanian container vessel MSC Chitra, while leaving JNPT Nhava Sheva port, collided with the inbound MV Khalijia-3. This caused oil containers from MSC Chitra to fall into the Arabian Sea.

The impact of the collision was so huge that containers from MSC Chitra were hurled into the sea and oil began to leak from the vessel. Besides the oil that had rapidly spread, drums filled with pesticide and many other items also fell into the water. The coastal areas have been on high alert. Over 31 containers with hazardous chemicals are still missing. Debris can still be seen floating in the water. The water around the damaged MSC Chitra is clear but that is because the ship is in deep sea and the debris are getting washed ashore. The oil has already caused severe water pollution along the coast of Raigad and Mumbai. Latest reports say pesticide bottles have also washed up along the coast, aggravating the problem.

The District Disaster Management Authority, Thane under the chairpersonship of Thane Collector is involved in this operation including for searching the missing container. This operation is being supported by Revenue Department, Police, Maharashtra Pollution Board, Indian Coast Guard, Urban Local Bodies & NGOs in their respective area.

In order to take effective action in searching for the missing containers, clearing the coastline and dealing with this disaster, we request members to please provide

  1. References of agencies involved in handling oil spillage on shore and for cleaning the coastline at Mumbai & nearby areas
  2. Suggest measures to clean up the oil spill from coastal areas and handle its impact on the marine eco-system
  3. Suggest mitigation and preparedness strategies for managing this type of incidence in the future

We will contact the agencies suggested by you for immediate action and based on your suggestions work on a longer term mitigation and Preparedness strategy for Oil Spillage off shore.

Looking forward to a quick response.

Please see attachment below for the responses.