Mumbai: The seventh edition of the National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX-VII) to validate and reinforce response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine tune the actions required in such eventualities was conducted on Wednesday off Mumbai harbour. Exercises were conducted in two phases. On Tuesday, during phase one, a table top exercise simulating oil spill from a tanker was conducted, while a real-time demonstration of oil spill scenario was conducted during the second phase on Wednesday.
The exercise evolutions included mobilisation of pollution response resources by various stakeholders for combating a marine oil spill in the region, exercising reporting procedures, testing of communication links, threat assessment, search and rescue of distressed crew from the sea, firefighting assistance to disabled merchant tankers and deployment of pollution response equipment for containment and recovery of spilt oil.
Moreover, recovery of spilt oil by all stakeholders, transfer of recovered oil to barges for transportation to port/ shore reception facility by Pollution Control Boats and demonstration of Dispersant Spray capabilities by the Coast Guard Interceptor Boats, Fast Patrol Vessels, Pollution Control Vessels, Chetak Helicopter, Dornier aircraft were also done.
The agencies were reviewed by the Coast Guard commander of western seaboard Additional Director General K Natarajan.
According to the officials, efforts were made with the synergy of stakeholders through such exercises to extend the Centre’s policy of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan‘ to Maritime Zones of India through ‘Swachh Sagar Abhiyan’.
The ICG Pollution Control Vessel (PCV) ICGS Samudra Pavak and integration of other stakeholders participated in the exercise along with International Observers from US Coast Guard, Australian Border Force, Vietnam Navy, Thailand Coast Guard, Tanzania Maritime Department.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.