KPT claims Rs102.6b for Tasman disaster
KARACHI: The trustees of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) invoked on Thursday original civil jurisdiction of the Sindh High Court to claim Rs 102,599 million from the owners of MT Tasman Spirit, MT Endeavour-II and their local agents for offshore cleaning, beach cleaning, removal of polluted sediments, disposal of dredging spoil and repair of the marine structure of the Karachi Port.
The plaintiff has put the entire blame for the grounding of the vessel on the mouth of the harbour channel and subsequently on Polembros Shipping of Greece, and Assimina Maritime of Malta, the owners of MT Tasman Spirit and MT Endeavour-II, respectively, and the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC).
The plaintiff submitted that besides poor response of the crew of MT Tasman Spirit in following the instructions of the KPT, failure of engines of the ship and negligent navigation resulted in the grounding of the ship beyond S-6 and S-7 channel buoys of the harrbour on July 27. Subsequently, Polembros Shipping of Greece and Assimina Maritime of Malta failed to take appropriate action for lighterage of the oil which spilled into the sea and played havoc with Karachi’s coastline. The plaintiff also blamed the PNSC for chartering the ships of the companies which did not enjoy good reputation and one of these companies ship, Neputune Dorado, was detained by the US Coast Guards for having glaring deficiencies and was fined $200 million.
Highlighting the role of the owner of MT Tasman Spirit, MT Endeavour-II and their local agents and the PNSC in the disaster resulting from the grounding of the vessel, the plaintiff claimed Rs 2,336 million for economic losses, Rs 33,861 million for ecological losses, Rs 12,890 million for property damage, Rs 8,575 million for consequential loss, besides Rs 68,738 million in prospective claims.
The plaintiff’s counsel Shaaiq Usman and Mansoor Shaikh also filed an application for attachment of MT Tasman Spirit and MT Endeavour-II. The application will be heard by Justice Ataur Rahman of the Sindh High Court on Friday.