India has been endowed with a vast marine ecosystem and bio-diversity, which sustains a large number of species and the coastal populace is dependent on the resources from this marine eco-system. The need for protection of this eco-system has been acknowledged worldwide and UNCLOS 1982 prescribes the responsibility on the Coastal States in preserving and protecting the marine environment and associated resources. The Maritime Zones of India Act 1976, enables the Government to take measures for protection of the marine environment. The Coast Guard Act 1978 states that the preservation and protection of marine environment and control of marine pollution is the function of the Indian Coast Guard. The ICG has been accordingly nominated in 1986 as the Central Coordinating Authority for oil-spill response in the Maritime Zones of India and Coast Guard officers have been empowered under the Merchant Shipping Act 1958, for taking necessary actions against polluters.
Any oil-spill response requires inter-agency coordination. Necessary preparedness measures need to be addressed collectively, and towards that effort, a national level contingency plan, that provides all the necessary details and functional responsibilities of various agencies, has been prepared. The Government of India approved the National Oil-spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) in 1993, and allocated functional responsibilities to various ministries and departments for oil-spill response in the Maritime Zones of India. The ports are responsible for oil-spill clean-up within port limits, and oil-handling agencies are responsible for oil-spill clean-up upto 500 meters around the oil-handling installations. The Coastal States and Union Territories are responsible for shoreline clean-up, whenever the oil-spill reaches the shore, and threatens the shoreline.
The comprehensively revised National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) edition-2015 was released during the 20th NOSDCP meeting held at Goa on 09 Apr 2015, the revised plan reflect current international norms and best practices, key relevant practices, key relevant national regulations and experience gained since its first publication.
Release of Revised NOSDCP-2015 Edition
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