Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted the 24th National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) and Preparedness Meeting in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on November 30, 2022. Director General, ICG V.S. Pathania, who is the Chairman of NOS-DCP, chaired the meeting. About 100 delegates, including representatives of various Ministries, Central and State Government departments and agencies, State Pollution Control Board, Ports and Oil Handling Companies participated. National capabilities with the common aim to ensure collective preparedness to respond to any oil and chemical spill contingency in Indian waters were reviewed.
In his address, V.S. Pathania stated that ICG is prepared to deal with threats to the region and its resources, including marine oil and chemical spill at sea. He stressed that as new vulnerabilities continue to emerge, the stakeholders must recognise the opportunity to enhance cooperation through stronger partnerships, effective coordination and imbibing best practices of the developing technology.
Presently, as the third largest importer of crude, India receives a large volume of oil through ships. Similarly, it stands sixth in the world as major chemical importer country. Both oil and chemicals if spilled pose inherent risks to the maritime zones of India and the connected coastlines housing large coastal population, marine ecosystem, industries and various installations along with supporting tourism industry. Therefore, preventive measures by the Central Coordinating Agency, Ports, Ship Owners, Oil Handling Facilities, Coastal States and other concerned stakeholders are required to be taken to prepare for any likely marine spill.