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Oil removal from Malaysian ship stuck off Odisha coast starts


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Days after the Indian Coast Guard cautioned about possible oil spillage from a Malaysian cargo vessel, anchored near Odisha's Chilika Lake, the process of removing fuel from the ship has been started, a state minister said on Wednesday.
Odisha government had earlier asked owner of the Malaysian ship to remove oil in view of the possible fuel spillage from the vessel.
"They (ship owner) have already started the process of evacuating oil from the ship. The district administration of Puri has given permission to shift the oil from the stranded ship. The process is likely to be completed in two-three days," Odisha's Commerce and Transport Minister P N Behera told reporters here.
The ship, which was heading towards Vishakhapatnam, was caught in a storm in the Bay of Bengal and drifted towards the Odisha coast due to technical problems.
The cargo vessel was anchored at Rajhans Island, close to Chilika Lake since August 7.
There was "no danger to Chilika Lake", he said, adding that an action will be taken to shift the ship after removal of oil from the vessel.
Behera said oil will be removed in phases and stored in tankers at a fishing jetty of the Chilika Development Authority.
In an urgent message to the state government on August 14, the Indian Coast Guard had said that the barge contains 30,000 litres of diesel, 1,000 litres of lube oil and 200 litres of hydraulic oil.
"Hence spillage of oil from the aground vessel cannot be ruled out," it said, adding that all necessary measures should be undertaken to prevent any leakage of oil from the vessel causing pollution in the area.
Puri district administration, however, said that the engine of the ship was safe and no leakage of fuel has been reported so far.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 5:15 PM IST

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