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Clean Sea-2017: Coast Guard conducts Regional Level Marine Oil Pollution Response Exercise November 30, 2017

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 spill.

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).    

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