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Stationed Malayasian Ship Near Chilika Lake Raises Environment Concerns

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17 August 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: The Malaysian cargo ship which drifted off its course and anchored at Rajhans near Chilika Lake in Odisha has raised environment concerns as it contains around 30,000 litres fuel, which may pose a major hazard in case of leakage.

Forest and Environment secretary Suresh Mohapatra on Saturday informed that the Indian Coast Guard has already instructed the company to immediately shift the ship from the area or extract the fuel in a safe manner.

Concerned authorities have also been apprised about the situation to take necessary follow-up action, he added.

Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority, Susanta Nanda, said as the ship is in presently inside the territorial water of Odisha, Puri Collector and SP are taking steps as per the advisory of the Coast Guard.

There is a standard operating procedure (SOP) to tackle oil spill incidents. The Pollution Control Board, Coast Guard and Director of Shipping will jointly be involved in such exercises, he added.

Reportedly, the Malaysian cargo ship was on its way to Visakhapatnam when it developed a technical glitch after being caught in the high tide and storm in the Bay of Bengal and landed near Rajhans on August 7 night.

The ship carrying iron ore and other minerals from Malaysia had unloaded its shipment in Bangladesh and was on its way to the Vishakhapatnam port.

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Suresh Mohapatra, Secretary, Forest and Environment Department

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Susanta Nanda, Chief Executive, Chilika Development Authority