Chennai oil spill expected to be cleaned up by tomorrow
Chennai: The coastline of Chennai and Ennore, which are affected by oil spill, is expected to be cleaned up completely by tomorrow. “Marina Beach will be cleaned completely by tomorrow. We have already already completed 80 percent of it,” Rajan Bargotra, IG, Coast Guard, told ANI.
It is, however, feared that it would take longer to get rid of the oil coating from the affected beaches. The Indian Coast Guard, the coordinating agency for removal of the oil sludge, also said there are no traces of oil spill inwards into the sea, though a few stretches of the coasts near Ennore Kamarajar Port remain blackened with the oil pollutants.
On January 28, a large amount of oil spilled into the sea following the collision of two ships – MT Dawn Kancheepuram and MT Maple, near the port at Ennore, 30 km off Chennai. The Kamarajar Port officials had initially declined of any such accidents. The spilled heavy furnace oil, however, later landed on the seashore of Ennore upto Thiruvanmiyur beach polluting a coastal line of about 24 km.
A massive clean up operation was then launched with more than 2,000 people as told to ANI by Union Shipping Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. “The cleaning work is going on. The state and the centre are coordinating. And we will take another day or two to finish off the work,” Radhakrishnan added. It was assured that marine life of the sea will not be affected.
“Coast Guard is giving full support so that there is no loss to marine life,” S Parmesh, IG, Coast Guard said. It’s estimated that over 20 tonne of oil had spilled into the Bay of Bengal, with 40 tonne of oil sludge and 27 tonne of oil mixture and water already removed.
Full-fledged clean up operations had begun only a day after the collision. The Coast Guard along with personnel from the state government, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Kamarajar Port and local fishermen were joined by hundreds of volunteering youth and college students in removing the oil slick manually and using dispersing agents.