The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) conducted a two-day regional level pollution response exercise named ‘Swachchh Samundra NW-2019’ at sea off Vadinar in Gulf of Kutch.
The exercise was conducted from Dec 17 to Dec 18 to validate and reinforce the response mechanism for oil pollution incidents and enable the Indian Coast Guard to fine-tune the actions required in such eventualities. The exercise was conducted in two phases. During phase one on December 17, a tabletop exercise simulating oil spill from a tanker was conducted, while a real-time demonstration of oil spill scenario was conducted during the second phase on Dec 18.
The Gulf of Kutch (GoK) region handles 70 per cent of the oil imported by India and 11 Single point Moorings (SPMs) out of total 27 SPMs i.e. 42 per cent in the country are located in this area. Thus, the exercise was planned to evaluate the preparedness for Pollution Response Operations for any such incident in this highly ecologically sensitive area.
The exercise evolutions included mobilization of pollution response resources by various stakeholders for combating a marine oil spill in the region, exercising reporting procedures, testing of communication links, threat assessment and deployment of pollution response equipment for containment and recovery of spilt oil.
Moreover, recovery of spilt oil by all stakeholders, transfer facility by Pollution Control Boats and demonstration of Dispersant Spray capabilities by the Coast Guard Interceptor Boats, Fast Patrol Vessels, Pollution Control Vessels and Dornier aircraft were also undertaken.