Panjim: Addressing the eighth edition of the National Level Pollution Response Exercise (NATPOLREX) organised by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Defence Secretary of India, Dr Ajay Kumar on Tuesday said that India has the ability to manufacture and deliver pollution control vessels for Indian Coast and friendly foreign countries.

He also informed that two more state of the art pollution response configured vessels for the Indian Coast Guard have been sanctioned which would increase ICGs capacity by 67 per cent.

“These vessels will be totally indigenous which showcases India’s ability to manufacture and deliver pollution control vessels for the Indian Coast and friendly foreign countries. India has been a centre of global company and politics and the expansion of transportation into and through the Indian Ocean calls for the importance of Natpolrex for addressing all the maritime issues,” said Kumar.

He also highlighted the current situation and the vital role of the event in addressing the issues of oil spills and pollution in the Indian Ocean.

“Indian Ocean region is one of the world’s biggest, busiest, populated, fastest developing and hence highly polluted regions. Recent studies on water bodies state that the Indian ocean is the world’s second most polluted region. It’s our responsibility not only towards this generation but to the Future generations to come as well to provide them with something valuable, sustainable growth and development.” he added.

The inaugural session was also attended by Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and various senior dignitaries from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Navy and State Pollution Control Board, Goa.

The event was attended by more than 85 participants from 50 Agencies, which included 29 foreign observers from 22 friendly foreign countries and International Organisations and two Coast Guard ships from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The exercise will conclude on Wednesday.