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Spill Notification Point
National Centre (for oil & HNS)
Indian Coast Guard (operations) Ministry Of Defence Government Of India Coast Guard Headquarters National Stadium Complex New Delhi 1100 01
Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (West) Worli Sea face Worli Colony Worli, Mumbai - 400 030
Tel: +91-022-24371932/24370491/24323206 or +91-022-24332554/24301455 or +91-022-24333727
Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (East) Rajaji Salai, Near Napier Bridge Chennai - 600 009
Tel: +91-44-25391718/23460450 or Ops: +91-44-25395016
North West Region
Block No. 10 & 11, Post Box No. 09 Gandhi Nagar, 382010
Tel: +91-79-23243315/23243316 or Ops: +91-79-23243264/3283/3292
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Indian Coast Guard Regional Headquarters (A&N) PO Box No, 716, Haddo (Post), Port Blair - 744102
Tel: +91-3192-231638/232027/230947 or Ops: +91-3192-232681
Competent National Authority
Ministry of Defence
104, South Block, New Delhi
Ministry of Home Affairs
Central Secretariat New Delhi - 110 001
Fax: 23093750/ 23092763
The Indian Coast Guard, part of the Ministry of Defence, is the designated national authority for oil spill response in Indian waters under the National Oil Spill-Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) promulgated in 1996 and last updated in 2014. The latest edition of the National Plan encompasses preparedness and response for HNS incidents. The NOS-DCP comes under the purview of the National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Indian Coast Guard is responsible for maintaining and implementing the NOS-DCP and acts as the Central Coordinating Agency for combating oil pollution in various maritime zones, except in the waters of ports and within 500m of offshore platforms, refineries and associated facilities. The Director General Coast Guard (DGCG) is the Central Coordinating Authority (CCA) and would direct the various aspects of pollution response operations assisted by the Seaboard Commander and various regional and district commanders, as appropriate, A Crisis Management Group (CMG) for marine oil spill emergencies, chaired by the Defence Secretary, provides management, operational, technical and environmental advice and support to the combat agency, as required. DGCG delineates the duties and responsibility of the participating agencies of the CMG. The Director (Environment) at Coast Guard HQ serves as the National On-scene Commander (NOSC) in the event of a spill of national significance. The NOS-DCP also outlines arrangements for spills at regional, district, state and facility level.
According to the National Plan, oil handling facilities and offshore installations would be expected to handle Tier 1 incidents and respond to spills in their designated area. However, the Statutory Agency (Coast Guard or State Government authority) would take over the operation if the spill were beyond the capability of the facility concerned or where the response capability has not been developed, with assistance from other National Plan stakeholders as required.
In ports, the port operator or relevant State Government authority would be responsible for handling the response, with assistance from other National Plan stakeholders, as required. Tier 1 equipment for pollution response up to 700 tons is required to be held by port facilities and oil terminals and installations.
For shoreline response, State Governments of coastal states would be responsible for coordinating the district and local administration and operation of the National Plan, as per the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The responsibilities of other support agencies are outlined in the NOS-DCP.
According to the NOS-DCP, mechanical containment and recovery is the primary response option at sea. The Coast Guard has issued national guidelines for the use of dispersants and insists on prior approval for their use. The eco-sensitivity of the areas are normally taken into consideration before dispersant use can be authorised. It is essential that the dispersants are tested and certified by the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa or such recognised laboratory, for use in Indian waters. Bioremediation and in-situ burning arrangements are in their initial stages. Under the NOS-DCP, recovered oil is to be stored in temporary pits until it can be transferred to reception facilities.
In addition to Tier 1 equipment, the Coast Guard maintains stockpiles of equipment at its pollution response centres at Mumbai, Chennai, Port Blair and Vadinar. The Coast Guard operates two dedicated pollution response vessels, with a third being commissioned (information from the NOS-DCP). Stocks of dispersant are additionally held at each Coast Guard station / air station.
The Indian Navy and Air Force would provide fixed wing aircraft or helicopters to conduct aerial surveillance or provide logistic support to move personnel and materials to site.
The Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would provide tankers or tank barges for storage of recovered oil.
Coastal state authorities, district administrations, public works/civil defence corps would provide personnel and equipment, as required, for shoreline clean-up.
The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has a stock of booms and dispersant at Mumbai. There are also other private offshore operators and response contractors with stocks of equipment. A number of supply vessels are equipped with ship-board spray systems.
Previous Spill Experience
The Coast Guard has experience in response activities based on incidents, regular exercises and involvement in related activities. The LAJPAT RAI in Bombay Port (1984) and PUPPY P (1989) occurred offshore but led to shoreline oiling. Oil from the MAERSK NAVIGATOR spill in 1993 was monitored by Coast Guard aircraft and treated with dispersant from a Coast Guard cutter. In 2010 containership MSC CHITRA was involved in a collision in the approaches to the Port of Mumbai, India, spilling approximately 800 tonnes of IFO 380 and losing more than 300 containers, including dangerous goods. The Indian Coastguard initially responded to oil at sea with dispersants. Oil subsequently stranded along shorelines to the south and east of Mumbai, including extensive mangrove and mudflat areas. International assistance was brought in to help manage and supervise the local shorelines response effort. A collision between a product tanker and LPG carrier in Chennai in 2017 resulted in oiling of over 35km of shoreline consisting of sandy beaches, rip-rap and port structures. Shoreline clean-up involving primarily manual techniques took place over 2 ½ months.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances (HNS)
Response policies and procedures for spills of HNS are similar to those for oil. Plans are underway to introduce the legislation necessary for India to ratify OPRC-HNS. Contingency arrangement for dealing with HNS spills are included in the NOS-DCP. In 2006 the LPG tanker vessel KEW BRIDGE, carrying a cargo of 8,798 tonnes of butane gas, ran aground near the Finolex Terminal, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The terminal was closed down by the authorities whilst the vessel was still aground, the surrounding villages were evacuated for a day, and a fishing ban was imposed. The vessel was lightered by pumping out the bunkers and removing 2,000 tonnes of butane gas to a second LPG tanker and safely refloated without spillage. India experienced a spill involving palm oil in 2006.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional and bilateral agreements
The governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka established the South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) in 1982. SACEP, jointly with IMO, developed a "Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan" to facilitate international co-operation and mutual assistance in preparing and responding to a major oil pollution incident in the seas around the maritime states of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In 2018 India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SACEP for cooperation on the response to oil and chemical pollution in the South Asian Seas region.
Date of issue: January 2019
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