Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has conducted a Regional Level Pollution Response Exercise titled “Swachchh Samundra NW-2019” at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch. The exercise was conducted from 17 Dec to 18 Dec 19 to validate and reinforce response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine tune the actions required in such eventualities with the provisions of NOS-DCP.
The Exercise was conducted in two phases. during Phase – I on 17 Dec 19, a tabletop exercise simulating oil spill from a tanker was conducted, while a real time demonstration of oil spill scenario was conducted during the second phase on 18 Dec 19. The pollution response management/ Assets from oil handling agencies – VOTL Nayara Energy LTD, IOCL, BORL, Reliance, Adani, HEML, DPT offshore oil terminal and GSFC from entire Gulf of Kutch actively involved in tabletop exercise as well as actual sea exercise.
The Gulf of Kutch (GoK) region handles 70% of the oil imported by India and 11 Single point Moorings (SPMs) out of total 27 SPMs around 41% in the country are located in this area. The exercise was planned to evaluate the preparedness for Pollution Response Operations for any such incident in this highly ecologically sensitive area.
The exercise evolutions included mobilization of pollution response resources by various stakeholders for combating a marine oil spill in the region, exercising Reporting procedures, testing of communication links, threat assessment and deployment of pollution response equipments for containment and recovery of spilt oil. Moreover, recovery of spilt oil by all stake holders, transfer facility by Pollution Control Boats and demonstration of Dispersant Spray capabilities by the Coast Guard Interceptor Boats, Fast Patrol Vessels, Pollution Control Vessels and Dornier aircraft were also undertaken.
The agencies preparedness was reviewed by the Deputy Inspector General Mukesh Kumar Sharma, TM, Commander District Headquarters, Okha, alongwith Coast Guard Regional HQs (NW) team. The central and state agencies viz-a-viz DDMA Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka, Gujarat maritime board ports Bedi and Navlakhi along with Marine Police, Customs, Forest, Deendyal Port Trust offshore oil Vadinar terminal also participated actively in all phases of exercise.
The ICG Pollution Control Vessel (PCV) ICGS Samudra Pavak, Fast Patrol Vessel ICGS Arinjay and Interceptor Boats ICGS C-401, C-152, C-413 and C-161 alongwith integration of other stakeholders of the region participated in the exercise. All ICG 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. The exercise is being conducted once in a year to work up all the oil handling agencies off the Gujarat coast.