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BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: The third meeting of India-Qatar Joint Defence Committee is expected here soon, the Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Sanjiv Arora, told reporters on board the visiting Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Prahari (Ocean Guard) yesterday.
“We are in the process of finalising the dates,” he added.
The panel was set up during Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to Qatar in 2008. Both countries have held two meetings, the first here in 2010 and the second in New Delhi in March, 2012.
The media briefing was held by the Indian Embassy to announce the arrival of the ship at the Doha Port. The vessel is on a goodwill visit for four days until tomorrow to strengthen ties and cooperation. It is on a four-country visit, including the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.
“This indigenously built ship, commissioned on October 9, 2010 has, among its charter of duties, tasks like preservation, protection and prevention of the seas from marine pollution,” said DIG Donny Michael, Commanding Officer of the ship. Captain Arjun Dev Nair, Defence Attaché for the GCC region, at the Indian Embassy, Oman, was present.
This is the first pollution control vessel not only of the Indian Coast Guard but also in the South East Asia. India has plans to have a fleet of three such vessels. The second, ‘Samudra Paheredar’ was launched on March 13, 2009.
Samudra Prahari is equipped with high-tech control systems for simultaneous tasks by a single operator. It has latest pollution control equipment, including two rigid sweeping arms to contain oil spills while in motion. It has been designed to recover the lightest to the most viscous oil at the rate of 300 tonnes an hour. It is also equipped with firefighting and salvage systems. “The vessel protects the waters around the country from marine pollution from ships. It has been responding to oil spills up to Tier II levels,” Michael added.
Samudra Prahari is designed to carry one twin-engine ALH/Chetak helicopter, five high-speed boats and four water scooters for SAR, maritime law enforcement, EEZ surveillance and high speed interdictions. It has a fuel capacity of 230 tonnes, and can generate about 20 tonnes of fresh water. The ship has been involved in four pollution response operations, one firefighting operation and one SAR operation in Indian waters.