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ANSWERED ON:  12.02.2021
Incidents of Oil Spills
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi
Will the Minister of


(a) the details of incidents of oil spills occurred in the Indian Ocean during the last four years;
(b) whether an oil spill pollutes fragile coastal ecology and marine biodiversity and if so, the details of ecological and environmental impacts thereof;
(c) whether the Government has prepared any policy for tackling/handling the incidents of oil spillage in the Indian waters for prevention of damage to the flora and aquatic life cycle and if so, the details thereof;
(d) whether oil spillage also affects mangroves and fishermen and if so, the details thereof; and
(e) the steps taken to combat oil pollution in the coastal and marine environment in various maritime zones?


(a) to (e):A statement is laid on the Table of the House.


Statement referred to in reply to parts (a) to (e) of Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 179 to be answered on Friday, the 12thFebruary, 2021 (Magha 23, 1942 Saka) on “Incidents of Oil Spills” by ShrimatiManeka Sanjay Gandhi.

(a) The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has reported that annually 80,000 to 1,00,000 ships transit through the Indian Ocean. The movement of ships and associated activities of loading/ unloading and transfer of materials has resulted in five (5) cases of oil spill in the Indian Maritime zones in the last four years as mentioned below:

Location & Date of incident Quantity Reason of Spill
Off Kamarajar Port, Ennore, Tamilnadu on 28.01.2017 196.4 Metric ton Collision between MT Dawn Kanchipuram, and MT BW Maple.
Outer Anchorage Mumbai Harbour on 30.01.2018 400 litres of Bunker Oil Accidental spillage during bunker transfer on MT JiproNeftis.
Kamarajar Port, Ennore, Tamilnadu on 18.10.2018 02 Tons of Furnace Fuel Oil Accidental spillage due to bursting of fuel line in port
Single Point Mooring of M/s HPCL, Off Vizag on 11.08.2019 40-50 Kilo litres of Crude Oil Accidental snapping of hose
Single Point Mooring of M/s HPCL, Off Vizag on 03.10.2019 4-5 Kilo litres of Crude Oil Rupture of hose used for SPM operations

(b) Oil spills adversely impacts intertidal flora and fauna and coastal environment leading to mass mortality of flora and fauna, choking of highly mobile species like crabs, clogging of water canals, loss of foraging grounds for shore birds and loss of nesting grounds for turtles. The residual oil from spill can vertically settle down in the sea-bed for prolonged durations causing long-term effects on the benthic environment. Similarly, oil spill also adversely affects port infrastructure, harbours, beaches, wildlife, fisheries etc.

(c) The Indian Coast Guard has been designated as the Central Coordinating Agency for matters related to Marine Oil Pollution. For combating oil spill, the ICG is nodal agency in Maritime zones of India except for areas covered under ports limits. The Ministry of Shipping is mandatedto take steps for prevention& control of pollution arising from ships, shipwrecks, abandoned ships and combating oil spills in port limits, within 500 metres of off-shore exploration& production platforms, coastal refineries and associated facilities. A National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) is prepared for responding to Oil Spill accidents. The NOS-DCP is a comprehensive tool, which provides framework of co-ordination of integrated response by various governmental departments and agencies to protect the environment from the deleterious effects of pollution by oil spillage. NOS-DCP is revised periodically to reflect current international norms and best practices, key relevant national regulations, experience gained and inputs received from stakeholders.

(d) An oil spill penetrating into areas manifested with mangroves and fishing grounds adversely affect them. The Mangroves undertake ecosystem support functions like desalination of seawater and provide shelter to biological communities’, birds and mammals. The oil slicks get deposited on to the aerial roots and sediment surface of mangroves during oil spill, causing death of mangroves. The oil spillage also poses the risk of entering burrows in sediments, killing crabs &worms and immobilise fishes. The fishing equipment, nets, boats, trawlers etc. also get contaminated during oil spill incidents. Oil spills result in loss of fishing opportunities causing temporary financial loss to fishermen.

(e) The ICG has established Pollution Response Team (PRT) at Mumbai, Chennai, Port Blair and Vadinar (Gujarat) to combat oil spill incidents. Three pollution response vessels are also commissioned at Porbandar, Mumbai and Vizag to augment pollution response efforts. Apart from the above, other Coast Guard ships and aircrafts are also utilized during pollution response operation, surveillance and monitoring of maritime zones of India. The NOS-DCP obliges all ports, Oil handling agencies and Oil installations on-shore to maintain pollution response equipment for Tier-I response (i.e. Oil Spills up to 700 tons). The coastal State Administration are also required to be suitably equipped for undertaking shoreline clean-up in their area of responsibility and conducting regular training and national level pollution response exercise with active participation of stakeholders viz. Ports, Oil handling agencies.


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