Panaji, Nov 8 (IANS) The unmanned naphtha-ferrying tanker, which ran aground off Panaji last month, is in the danger of breaking up and could result in possible spillage of naphtha, oil and diesel present in its hold, the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) told the Bombay High Court on Friday.
The assertion made by MPT in in the High Court, comes on the heels or repeated claims made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that there was no danger of any spillage and that the tanker Nu Shi Nalini, which drifted towards Panaji ran aground on a rocky shelf on October 26 was in good condition.
In his order on Friday, Justice K.R. Shriram, quoting MPT’s advocate Amrut Vernekar, said that there is “imminent danger” of the “vessel’s bottom breaking and also 2000 tonnes of naphtha on board the vessel together with diesel and heavy oil leaking into the sea and endanger marine life”.
The MPT had filed an application in connection with an ongoing suit between Samson Maritime Limited and the promoters of Nu Shi Nalini.
The next hearing is scheduled for December 16.
The Nu Shi Nalini ran aground on October 26 on the rocky shelf off Panaji near Raj Bhavan — the official residence of the Governor — after it was caught in a storm off the state, and has not moved position since.
A multi-agency operation, involving the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Director General (Shipping), the Mormugao Port Trust and other state agencies, was subsequently launched to transfer the naphtha and nearly 50 tons of oil and 19 tons of diesel to other vessels. The joint operation however failed on account of stormy weather and a minor accident, resulting in the vessel continuing to pose a threat to the coastal area, on account of its hazardous cargo.
The Goa government is already in talks with two Singapore-based firms to salvage the vessel.