Minister for Ports Michael Lobo launched first oil spill collection vessel of the Captain of Ports (CoP), a vessel especially designed to carry out oil spill clean-up operations. The vessel named ‘M L Sharvani’ has been built by Mandovi drydocks at Piligaon at an estimated cost of Rs 4.18 crore and is equipped with all modern technology and equipment. Speaking after launching the vessel at the Captain of Ports jetty in the city, Lobo said that the vessel will be instrumental in containing and cleaning any oil spill in the state waters and it will enable the CoP to tackle environmental damage in near shore, coastal or inland waterways. Speaking on the occasion, Captain James Braganza of the CoP said that oil spills in rivers can be caused due to a collision between two vessels or grounding of a vessel and also if the particular vessel develops puncture in their bunker tanks that carry fuel. “The moment we are informed about the oil spill, we will immediately inform our control room and our control room will disseminate the information to the master of the vessel so that oil spill clean-up operation can be carried out,” he said. A demonstration of oil spill clean-up operation was held soon after the launch by the crew members of the vessel under the supervision of technical superintendent Stephen Braganza. Secretary Ports P S Reddy and Corporation of the City of Panaji Mayor Uday Madkaikar were also present on the occasion.
To tackle an oil spill, the dinghy aboard the vessel will be loaded into the river by the crane. The boom, which is essentially a temporary floating barrier used to contain oil spills, will then be gently laid around the affected area to prevent the spillage from spreading further. Once the lightweight skimmer is manually lowered, the rotary soaking pads will absorb the oil and drain it into a holding tank fitted on the vessel. The oil will finally be transferred onshore for disposal.