Sunk ONGC Barge Had Safety, Seaworthiness Certificates: Minister

Barge Papaa-305, which sank off the Mumbai coast in May killing greater than 80 onboard, had all the protection and sea worthiness certificates when it met with the accident, junior oil minister Rameswar Teli instructed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

On May 16, Cyclone Tauktae — a storm with the depth of a class 3 hurricane — tore aside Barge Papaa 305’s anchors and slammed it into an offshore platform, taking down 261 individuals on board. Many of them had been rescued.

‘The Barge Papaa-305 was constructed within the 12 months of 2004,’ he stated in a written reply to a query within the Upper House of Parliament.

Indian rules permit seaworthy barges to function for so long as 35 years.

‘The specs of the barge had been reviewed and technical acceptance was given by Engineers India Ltd, a Government of India Enterprise,’ the Minister stated.

‘As per customary protocol, a joint security audit of the Barge Papaa-305 was carried on October 23, 2020 by a group consisting of representatives of ONGC, Safety Officer from Certification of Engineers India Limited (CEIL), Master Mariner from Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), and Contractor’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) consultant.

‘The stated Barge had all obligatory statutory certificates required for sea worthiness for finishing up the meant operation,’ he stated.

The barge was employed by Afcons Infrastructure, an engineering firm owned by billionaire Pallonji Mistry‘s Shapoorji Pallonji Group. Afcons was engaged on state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) fields in Mumbai offshore.

Afcons was the primary contractor for the roles of fixing decays and portray rusted pipes and metals with a purpose to shield the constructions from the corrosive onslaught of the ocean.

‘ONGC issued cheques of Rs 1 lakh to every 188 survivors households as speedy reduction and Rs 2 lakh to households of 86, who died. The whole quantity of reduction prolonged is Rs 3.6 crore,’ Teli stated.

He stated primarily based on climate issues, ONGC had suggested Barges Papaa-305 to maneuver out of the sector. The barge had additionally confirmed that it was shifting out of the sector.

However, it moved solely a small distance and was caught within the cyclone.

‘The Government has constituted a High-Level Committee to investigate into the sequence of the occasions resulting in the stranding of vessels and accidents,’ he stated.

Giving chronological particulars of the communications from ONGC to all installations concerning cyclone Tauktae, he stated the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued the primary advisory on the cyclone at 14:00 hours on May 11.

The subsequent day, the IMD advisory was mentioned within the Joint Operation Review Meeting (JORM) of Mumbai Offshore, ONGC and all installations, rigs, vessels had been requested to take motion and due precautions as per the emergency response plan.

On May 13, ‘all barges within the subject had been instructed by respective installations over radio communication to plan for motion to a protected location, in view of the upcoming cyclone,’ he stated. ‘ONGC requested all of the barges within the subject to maneuver to protected areas (on May 14).’


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