Govt sets up committee to inquire into the stranding of ONGC vessels in cyclone “Tauktae”
Survivors from Barge P305 and other vessels, which were set adrift in the Arabian Sea by Cyclone Tauktae, rescued and brought back to Mumbai by INS Kochi of the Indian Navy, on May 19, 2021.Photo: Indian Navy

Govt sets up committee to inquire into the stranding of ONGC vessels in cyclone “Tauktae”

New Delhi, May 19, 2021

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) today set up a High-Level Committee to inquire into the sequence of events leading to the stranding of ONGC vessels in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae that swept through the area on Monday.

Several vessels of the public sector Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), with more than 600 people on board, were stranded in offshore areas during the cyclone. The stranding, drifting and subsequent events have led to the loss of several lives, with the Indian Navy confirming that they had recovered 26 bodies during the search and rescue operations that are still continuing, with several more people listed as missing.

The committee, comprising Amitabh Kumar, Director General of Shipping, S. C. L. Das, Director General of Hydrocarbons, and Nazli Jafri Shayin, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence, has been constituted to inquire into the incidents.

The committee may co-opt any other member, and take assistance of any person it deems necessary. The committee shall submit its report within one month, an official press release said.

The terms of reference of the committee are:

To inquire into the sequence of events leading to the stranding and drifting of these vessels, and subsequent events.

Whether the warnings issued by Meteorological Department and other statutory authorities were adequately considered and acted upon.

Whether the Standard Operating Procedures for securing the vessels and dealing with disaster management were adequately followed.

Lapses and gaps in the systems leading to the stranding and drifting of the vessels.

Recommendations to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

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