US ship denied entry into Gujarat waters

US ship denied entry into Gujarat waters

US vessel Oriental Nicety (formerly Exxon Valdez) was not granted permission by any state or central agency to enter Gujarat, Gujarat Maritime Board on Wednesday said.

“Instructions have been issued to the Vehicle Monitoring and Traffic System (VMTS) to ensure that the US vessel Oriental Nicety should remain parked outside the Gulf of Cambay,” GMB’s Chief Nautical Officer S C Mathur said. GMB had earlier reportedly given a green signal to the ship, though officials did not confirm this.

In response to a PIL by NGO Research Foundation for Science, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the Ministry of Shipping to state what steps were taken to prevent the ship from berthing in India until it was decontaminated.

According to the NGO, “Exxon Valdez” was involved in one of the worst oil spills in the US two decades ago.

Oriental Nicety was bought by subsidiary of state-based Priya Blue Industries to be dismantled at the Alang ship breaking yard, and currently it was parked at an undisclosed location, sources said. The vessel, responsible for Alaska oil spill of 1989, had entered Indian waters recently and was heading for Alang.

Another GMB official said that according to the procedure, there would be a desk review, in which the ship captain has to disclose the inventory. The material would be checked by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and Customs official from the documents, and if it is found to be within permissible limits then it would be brought inside Anchorage area at Alang.

Thereafter, officials would conduct actual examination of the ship, and if they give it a clearance, the port officer would permit berthing.

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