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Coast Guard Asks MSC Chitra To Pay Rs 2.5 Crore

Mumbai, Sep 23 :  Indian Coast Guard (CG) today asked the owner of vessel MSC Chitra to cough up Rs 2.5 crore for the operations carried out to contain oil spill damage caused by the
PTI September 23, 2010 16:36 IST
PTI
Mumbai, Sep 23 :  Indian Coast Guard (CG) today asked the owner of vessel MSC Chitra to cough up Rs 2.5 crore for the operations carried out to contain oil spill damage caused by the ship after it collided with another merchant vessel. The two merchant vessels, MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia-III, had collided off the Mumbai harbour on August 7 causing huge oil spill that resulted in ecological damage.

Last month, the state government has also sought Rs three crore from MSC Chitra for clean-up operation carried out off the coast of the state after it identified Chitra as a 'polluter' following the collision.

"We have written to the owners of MSC Chitra (Mediterranean Shipping Company) to pay nearly Rs 2.5 crore as we had to deploy our men, helicopters and vessels to carry out various operations to tackle the situation after the mishap," S P S Basra, IG Coast Guard (Western region) told PTI.

 "We had rescued crew members from the Chitra immediately after the mishap, monitored the spreading of oil spill, thousands of litres of chemical dispersants were sprayed on the high seas to control the spread of oil," said another CG official said.

Subsequently, other operations were also carried out such as helping the Navy in clearing navigational channel as several containers were floating in the sea water. "We have estimated all these operations' cost and asked the Chitra to foot the bill," the CG official added. Meanwhile, DG of Shipping said it would complete its probe into the collision in a couple of days.

"The report regarding the probe into the mishap would be ready in a couple of days. We would send this report to senior officials, who would go through it and take appropriate decision," said S B Agnihotri, Joint Director General of Shipping.

An estimated 400-500 metric tonnes of oil was spilled from the vessel Chitra, carrying 2,662 metric tonnes of oil, following the mishap. Of the 1,219 containers on the ship, nearly 250 had slipped into the sea due to the tilt. PTI