The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) for the construction of two Pollution Control Vessels (PCVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at a cost of about Rs 583 crore, on Tuesday.
These Special Role ships will be indigenously designed and will be developed & built by GSL. The acquisition is under ‘Buy Indian – Indigenously Designed Developed & Manufactured (Buy Indian-IDDM)’, the highest priority category for defence capital procurements. The acquisition will augment the capability of ICG to respond to oil spill disasters at sea and also will enhance Pollution Response (PR) efficiency. Both vessels are scheduled for delivery by November 2024 and May 2025 respectively.
Currently, ICG has three PCVs in its fleet at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, and Porbandar to carry out dedicated Pollution Surveillance, oil spill monitoring, or response operations in Indian EEZ and around islands. The new PCVs are planned for pollution response requirements in the Eastern and ecologically sensitive Andaman & Nicobar Regions. These vessels will have the capability of operating helicopters on board, it will also have several advanced features with modern PR equipment of niche technology for containing, recovering, and dispersing marine oil spills.
While meeting the objectives of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the contract would further boost the indigenous shipbuilding capabilities and can further provide more employment opportunities in the shipbuilding sector that involves around 200 MSME vendors.
What are Pollution Control Vessels?
An anti-pollution vessel is a special type of ship that is used to absorb pollutants from oceanic water during ship accidents or any other incident which has led to pollution at the sea. The pollutants can include oil spills, garbage left behind by vessels, or other kinds of floating marine debris resulting from ocean dumping.
These anti-pollution ships are equipped with gadgetries and systems which can help in recovering back the polluting and harmful substances from the seawater. Some of the main equipment includes pumpers, liquid disinfectant substances, oil spill kits, oil booms, and oil dispersants which can be sprayed to clean up the contaminated areas. Alongside facilitating the process of cleaning contaminated shore areas and removing the trash from the sea, there are specific container systems that function as bins. They can also have other capabilities which may include rescue, firefighting, and support for divers.
India committed towards environmental protection
Last year, India joined hands with Norway to jointly tackle concerns related to oceans, environment, and climate matters. The Government is undertaking various efforts for the sustainable development of coastal regions. On the eve of International Coastal Clean-Up Day, World Bank’s Country Director, Zunaid Khan applauded India’s efforts towards cleaning up its beaches and said that India with its strategies for sustainable coastal zone management which will act as a lighthouse for other countries in the region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a keen interest in Climate Change issues. Under his leadership, India decided to adopt a more proactive, ambitious, and forward-looking approach in the run-up to the Paris Climate summit.