Neha Amin, Mundra
Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in association with private oil companies launched first ever ‘National Pollution Response Exercise “(NATROPLEX) off Mundra port. Eight coast guard ships, two ICG helicopters, two Dornier aircraft, one Indian navy ship, one IAF aircraft and several other vessels participated in the exercise.
This was the sixth edition of the NATROPLEX which was witnessed by the state Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and DG, ICG Rajendra Singh. Rescue operations in case of explosion on board, oil spill and other incidents were showcased.
There were Coast guard ships with booms which accumulate oil spilled at sea, chemical sprinklers to solidify oil to enable it on sink into the sea, rescue helicopters, boats which demonstrated operations.
The CM and the DG remained on board of ‘Shakti’ a 110-metre long coast guard vessel. Rupani said Gujarat has the largest coastline and has initiated Swachh Sagar Abhiyan along with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. He added the Coast Guard is playing a vital role in checking pollution from oil spills and other wastes as well as preserving marine life. He also listed the Gujarat Government’s contribution to the Central Government’s ‘Sagarmala Project’ for the development of ports.
The Gulf of Kutch spread over 7,300 sq km imports 74 per cent of the country’s mineral oil, anchors 11 out of total 27 moorings in the country for Reliance and Essar oil refineries, harbours major seaports like Kandla and Mundra and mangroves and coral islands.
Nearly 250 sailors, airmen and jawans took part in the three hours joint exercise as to how to check fire in oil spill spread and rescue people by the Navy, Air Force and Army. There were two pollution control vessels, two offshore petrol vessels, two interceptor boats, two fast patrolling boats, two aircrafts of the Air Force and one helicopter, especially during high tidal waves. Security personnel from Australia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius witnessed the exercise at Mundra.
(For news in Hindi see our Hindi daily Chaupal Chronicle)