The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a Regional Level Marine Oil
Pollution Response Exercise called ‘Clean Sea 2017’ at sea off Port Blair,
Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The objective of the exercise was to ascertain preparedness of the Indian Coast Guard, resource agencies
and other stakeholders in responding to a major oil spill in line with the
provisions of NOS-DCP (National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan)
The highlight of the exercise was
participation of one ICG Pollution Control Vessel (PCV) and integration of
Indian Coast Guard Dornier/Chetak aircraft into the Oil Spill Disaster
Management System for aerial assessment/ delivery of Oil Spill Dispersant (OSD)
for mitigation of the spilled oil. Representatives from various stake holders
also participated in the exercise as observers.
The Great Channel between Nicobar Islands
and northern Sumathra that leads into Malacca Straits is a busy sea route with
high traffic particularly of oil tanker, thus making this route prone to oil
The exercise ‘Clean Sea 2017’, conducted
in two phases, had the participation of ICG Pollution Control vessel and
integration of ICG Dornier/Chetak aircraft into Oil Spill Disaster Management
System for aerial assessment and delivery of Oil Spill Dispersant for
mitigation of spilled oil.
The preparedness of all agencies during the
exercise was conducted under observation of Coast Guard Regional Commander
Inspector General KR Suresh, TM and was overseen by Mr Anindo Majumdar, IAS,
Chief Secretary (Andaman & Nicobar) embarked on board Coast Guard Ship Vishwast
along with Mrs Nuzhat Hassan, IPS, DGP, Mrs Nabanita Ganguly, IFS, Director,
Pollution Control Committee and Dr RD Tripathy, Chief Port Administrator, PMB.
“Exercise ‘Clean Sea’ validated and
reinforced response mechanism for Oil Pollution incidents and enabled Indian
Coast Guard to fine tune the actions required in such eventualities by
improving coordination and communication with different agencies. All out
efforts are being made with the synergy of stakeholders through such exercises
to extend GoI policy of “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” to Maritime Zones of India
through “Swachh Sagar Abhiyan” also, as 64% of world oil trade pass
through the Andaman Sea,” Commandant Dalip
Singh, Public Relations Officer, Coast Guard Region (A&N) said.
The Indian Coast Guard is responsible for marine environmental
protection in maritime zones of India and as the coordinating authority for
response to oil spills, it has formed three pollution response centres in Mumbai,
Chennai and at Port Blair and it has developed National Oil Spill Disaster
Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP).