Stating that the opposition MLAs are trying to create fear and anxiety in the minds of people, Ports Minister Michael Lobo said that there was neither leakage of naphtha nor spillage of oil from the grounded ship Nu Shi Nalini. Taking journalists of print and electronic media for an inspection around the grounded ship off Dona Paula coast, Lobo tried to clear the air on the story of dead fish. “Some people are trying to create fear and anxiety in minds of the people with baked stories. The ship is grounded on a rock and there is no oil spillage or any naphtha leak,” he said, while adding “the dead fish saga could also be staged drama to create panic”. Lobo added that the naphtha is in the containers, which is located in the centre of ship and cannot leak with ship grounding. “It can only leak if the ship breaks or tilts,” he stated. The minister also said that the ship is being monitored on a daily basis. “Tug boats, Boom barriers, pumps etc are ready for any eventuality of leakage of oil, diesel etc,” he said.
Lobo asked opposition MLAs to refrain from making any vague statements and scaring people, fisherman etc. “Goa government will ask the Centre to make it mandatory for all ships entering the State to take permissions from the State government,” he said. “State government does not have any control over ships that come to Mormugao Port Trust (MPT). We will go to Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping) and the Union Shipping Minister and inform him that any type of ship that comes inside (Goa) should take the permission of the State government,” said Lobo. The Minister also said that the DG Shipping has expertise in the matter. He added that DG Shipping has also assured the State government, that they will remove the ship once the contractor is finalised. “We will wait as we do not want to take any step in a hurry. Let DG Shipping finalise and we will see to it that contractor removes naphtha from the ship professionally,” Lobo added.