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SOURCE: ANI

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has strategically stationed additional Hovercraft at Jakhau, near the Indo-Pak Maritime frontier, and a capital ship at Vadinar in the Gulf of Kutch. The ICGS Samudra Pavak, a specialized Marine Pollution Control Vessel, will now operate from the new Coast Guard Jetty at Vadinar, inaugurated on March 1, 2024, by Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Tourism

The Gulf of Kutch is rapidly developing, particularly in the oil and port sectors, handling 70% of the country’s oil through its facilities. The Gulf is also home to rich biodiversity, fisheries, coral reefs, and mangrove vegetation, highly vulnerable to oil spills from surrounding industries. The positioning of the specialist vessel by ICG will enhance its capacity to mitigate environmental threats. The dedicated Marine Pollution Response Unit was established in 2018 at Vadinar to provide a professional and quick response to emerging situations, serving as a coordination hub for all stakeholders in the region.

The 95-meter-long ship Samudra Pavak is equipped with advanced pollution response and control equipment to mitigate oil spills. It can contain and recover oil in case of oil pollution at sea, with two rigid sweeping arms enabling containment of spilled oil in motion at sea. The ship, commanded by DIG Aniket Singh, operates with 19 officers and approximately 120 Enrolled Personnel.

Recalling the region’s significance, ICG conducted an international-level Marine Pollution Response Exercise, NATPOLREX, off Vadinar in November 2023. The exercise saw participation from delegates of over 30 countries and the majority of national stakeholders.