New Mangalore Port Trust chairman A.V. Ramana on Wednesday said that he will ensure that the beached dredging vessel Bhagvati Prem is removed from the city by January next.
Meanwhile, NMPT would take steps to offload fuel — about 5,000 KL of furnace oil — and other hazardous material from the ship that may pose a threat to environment, Mr. Ramana told The Hindu on Wednesday.
The port restricted oil supply to the vessel after the sinking of another dredger Tridevi Prem.
NMPT has already placed booms around Bhagvati Prem to prevent oil spillage.
The 114 metre-long, 21 metre-wide Bhagvati Prem with a deadweight of 9,492 tonnes and a draft of 7 metres, was beached at the Surathkal coast on Monday night by NMPT after the vessel witnessed flooding following a damage to the hull.
Mr. Ramana further said that NMPT would again ask the Directorate-General of Shipping and dredger owner Mercator to remove the vessel at the earliest.
He said that as the vessel is closer to the coast, its damaged hull could be repaired, which task would have been difficult on the high seas. As such, the vessel could float and be towed away.
If the Directorate-General of Shipping and Mercator do not respond within a reasonable time, NMPT itself would, after intimating the local court concerned, acquire the vessel using provisions of law.
Then the dredger would be auctioned by the port, Mr. Ramana said.
However, NMPT would not allow scrapping of the vessel at Surathkal itself, he added.
Beaching was a bonfire port activity under Indian Ports Association, Mr. Ramana said and added that the land belonged to the port as per the Indian Ports Act 1908.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ramana said that NMPT has been cautious enough in avoiding risks, giving the example of naphtha-propelled mv Nu Shi Nalini, a chemical tanker, that had witnessed a blast in its engine room killing a crew last year off the Kochi coast. There were requests to take the vessel to NMPT, to which the port imposed severe conditions. After that, the vessel was towed to Marmugao Port and now, it has run aground near Dona Paula in Goa raising concerns, he said.