As it tried to contain the oil spill off the city coast, the state government said on Tuesday that the Centre should set up a mechanism to handle similar situations in the future as Mumbai and neighbouring Raigad have two of India's busiest ports.
State Ports and Transport Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the state would ask the Centre to set up a joint coordination committee of all the authorities involved so that any disaster could be handled quickly. The committee, said Vikhe-Patil, should have members from the state and Central governments, Mumbai Port Trust and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). “The committee would strengthen the working of ports, tackle disasters and avert mishaps,” he added.
The proposal comes in the wake of the confusion in the handling of the oil spill that occurred after a collision between two ships on Saturday. Ports are under the administrative control of the Centre, which creates bureaucratic hurdles for the state when emergency steps are needed, Vikhe-Patil said.
Last month, there were similar problems when chlorine leaked from cylinders on port premises at Sewri.
Experts from Singapore and the Netherlands were roped in to control the oil spill. “These experts could be asked to train people here,” said a ports official.