Oil spill disaster is a wake up call for port authorities of the country, says Vikhe Patil

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Mumbai, Aug.9 (ANI): Maharashtra Minister for Transport Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil on Monday said that the port authorities of India should enhance their managerial equipments in order to cope up with disasters and the latest incident was a wake up call for them.

Paitl, while talking to reporters here today after reviewing the oil spill, said that the ports lack modern equipments and need to be equipped with latest management techniques.

"Now this is a situation when JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust) and BPT (Bombay Port Trust) authorities have to wake up. It is wake up call for them. They have to really pull up their sleeves (socks). When this disaster occurred we had to call people from NDRF, National Disaster Response Force. Under these authorities also both port authorities are not well equipped. They have to be well equipped with the latest management techniques to avert these kinds of disaster," said Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.

Pail also said that the polluters should be made to pay for the spill and rash navigation of vessel.

"Both ships were on different frequencies which caused this disaster. Now, I think BPT is taking action, but on the part of the government, as the Minister of the Ports, we will write to the Government of India on this issue that the actions should be taken against these pilots. Harbour Masters should also be made accountable for this accident," added Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil.

A team of experts has been called from Singapore for the salvage operations, he informed.

The state authorities, Pollution Control Board and the Maritime Board are on high alert for mobilisation of response resources for shore cleanup.

Two Panamanian ships collided just off Mumbai's coast on Saturday (August 7). One ship carrying a cargo of diesel and lubricant oil capsized, triggering an oil slick that spread over an area of two nautical miles.

On Monday, teams from the Indian Navy and Coast Guard were attempting to contain the oil spill off the coast of Mumbai with concerns rising that the slick may spread.

The port, one of the busiest in the country, has suspended operations and fishermen have been advised not to venture out.

According to the environmentalists, if oil reaches the ocean bed, it can take about two years to scavenge the water.

Marine life, which includes sea lions, pelican, seagulls, sea urchins, and seaweed are adversely affected by spills. (ANI)

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