Mumbai coast oil spill has shipping companies lamenting losses

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Mumbai, Aug 12 (ANI): Shipping companies are reportedly lamenting their losses following suspension of ship movement to and from the ports of Mumbai and Nhava Sheva due to the oil spill off the Mumbai coast.

Two Panamanian ships, MSC Chitra and MV Khalija-III collided five nautical miles off Mumbai on August 7, leading to containers having oil spilling into the sea.

"We were handling around 100 and 150 containers a day. The dispatches have come down to 10-15 as low as that. And as far as Nhava Sheva Port goes, what I understand from the statistics is it handles 10,000 containers a day in and out. I'm sure that with this stopping of bookings that would have come down to barely two to three thousand containers a day and that too it would only last till the time what goods are lying in the port are evacuated," said Shailesh Bhatia, Managing Director, Bhatia Shipping Private Limited.

"Once the evacuation of goods lying in the port takes place, there will be no further evacuations because no vessels are taking berth, and the export cargos, which are coming in, will choke the port because they are not being loaded on vessels. So beyond a few days, the situation is not going to last and business will come totally to a grinding halt," he added.

Shipping companies acknowledge that they are facing a pressure of supplying goods to their clients and now they are trying to divert supply to other ports.

"Unfortunately, Indian consequential losses laws are very weak. I don't know how far we would be successful to claim all the consequential losses of being incurred by the trade, by the fishermen, by the people who are incidental to the business of this exim (export-import) like transporters everybody put together. But everybody is incurring huge losses because their business would be greatly affected by this," Bhatia said.

The oil slick has spread to a distance of two nautical miles from the capsized ship.

The vessel was carrying 2,662 tonnes of heavy oil in its various tanks and 245 tonnes of diesel oil. (ANI)

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