Malaysian Ship No Threat To Chilika, Says Minister; Oil Removal Begins

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28 August 2019

Debasish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: The Malaysian cargo ship that has gone aground on the Chilika Lake’s coast poses no threat to the lake.

“There is no danger to Chilika from the grounded ship,” informed Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera allaying fears of a possible oil spill while briefing newsmen at the State Secretariat here today.

The Minister said removal of oil from the grounded ship is likely to begin from today.

“The owner of the ship has been traced. The district administration has granted them permission for removal of oil from the ship and its salvage. The owner has engaged their agent for the job. There is no apprehension of oil spill. As far as information available with me removal of oil from the Malaysian ship will begin from today and it will take maximum three to four days,” Behera said.

Responding to a media query that whether any deadline has been set for the job and whether action was delayed from the government’s end he said, “Tracing the proprietors of the ship took a bit of time. My department and the district administration are constantly in liaison with them and the process will be completed within a three-four days.”

Again responding to a question by the media the Minister said that since the incident was an accident as of now there are no plans to take any punitive action against the proprietors of the grounded ship.

Meanwhile, according to latest reports, the process for transfer of oil from the ship to small containers has begun as men and equipment have reached the spot.

Notably, the vessel 'Jin Hwa 32'had run aground on August 7 at Khirisahi within the lake, while traveling from Malaysia to Bangladesh.  It was washed ashore after being damaged by high winds and rough seas.



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Padmanabha Behera, Minister, Commerce & Transport, Odisha

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Balwant Singh, Collector, Puri