'Almost all containers fallen from MSC Chitra removed'

"The containers that fell into the sea have either been removed or been identified...there are no containers floating (on the sea)," Shipping Secretary Mohan Das told PTI here. He said officials involved in the rescue operations are using solar equipment to detect containers that have sunk.

"This exercise has been going on around the entire area. We can't say all the containers are taken...Many have been damaged (due to the incident) or may probably be submerged," Das said.

On the oil spill threatening marine life in the Arabian Sea, he said several measures are being taken, coordinated by the Maharashtra State Pollution control Board and other government officials.

The vessel MSC Chitra, the outbound merchant ship from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), collided with MV Khalijia-III around 9.50 am on August seven when the latter was sailing towards Mumbai Port Trust (MPT), off Mumbai harbour for berthing.

On development of non-major ports, Das said traffic handled by Non-Major Ports grew by 33 per cent last year. "It is very impressive.. we expect that to continue...," he said. Das said the ministry would bring out a draft of the proposed coastal shipping policy in two months, which would be further deliberated upon.

"It will be to promote the model shift from road and rail to coastal shipping route. Shipping can be made hassle free and also an environment friendly mode of transport. These are things that will be studied in detail," he said.

Das was here to take part in the 12th Meeting of the Maritime States Development Council, chaired by Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan.

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