Other States

Congress seeks probe into why naptha-laden tanker came to Goa

Party delegation meets CM to demand inquiry by DIA or NIA

A Goa Congress delegation on Tuesday met Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to demand a high-level inquiry into why the chemical tanker carrying naphtha, which ran aground off the coast of Panaji two months, came to Goa in the first place. The visit came amid reports that the naphtha was to be transported by road from the liquid storage tank.

The delegation, led by Leader of Opposition Digamber Kamat, sought to know how an unmanned tanker carrying nearly 2,500 tonnes of naphtha was allowed to anchor off the State and why there was a delay in salvaging the vessel.

Mr. Kamat said he had demanded a probe by the Defence Intelligence Agency or the National Investigation Agency, claiming that the naphtha was sourced from Pakistan. A memorandum submitted to the CM said, “A high-level investigation should be ordered into the arrival of the ship, including its origin from Pakistan, consignor, consignee, cargo, licenses and permissions. The Congress objects to the decision of the government asking the Director General of Shipping to investigate the matter, as the said agency itself is responsible to give permission to berth the said ship at MPT Port.”

The accident

Nu-Shi Nalini ran aground on October 26 off Panaji near Dona Paula after it was caught in cyclone Kyarr. The tanker had earlier met with an accident in a Kerala port, after which its engines failed and it was towed to the Goa port.

An operation involving the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Director General Shipping, the Mormugao Port Trust and other agencies to transfer the naphtha and nearly 50 tonnes of oil and 19 tonnes of diesel to other vessels failed. The naphtha was finally pumped out after a week-long exercise ending Monday, with the help of professional salvors from the Netherlands, who had been awarded the tender for the work.

“The Chief Minister has said he is trying to get the probe conducted by the Secretary, Ministry of Shipping. The MPT does not have the berth for ship repairs. So it is important to probe as to what circumstances led it to reach MPT. The CM told us to give him some time and that an FIR will be filed in 15 days against the MPT chairman,” Mr. Kamat said.

Mr. Sawant said action would be taken against those guilty of allowing the unmanned vessel to be anchored off the coastline, despite storm warnings in October. “Action will be taken after the core issue of sending the naphtha away from Goa’s shores is taken care of. No one will be spared,” Mr. Sawant said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:16:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-seeks-probe-into-why-naptha-laden-tanker-came-to-goa/article30333600.ece

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