Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar on Thursday said 60 tonnes of oil had been cleared from the oil spill site off Ennore Port and that an operation was underway to clear the remaining 20 tonnes of the spillage that has ruined the sea. Jayakumar added that sea food was safe for consumption, ANI reported.
Another turtle has been found dead near the shore. Several turtles and hatchlings have been found dead Ernavour which is known for Olive Ridley turtles. Hundreds of Coast Guard personnel and volunteers are manually scooping oil out of Chennai beaches, after two ships had collided off the city’s coast on Saturday. The Coast Guard had initially believed only around one tonne of oil had spilled in the sea. The spill has also affected the sale of fish in the area. Jayakumar and senior government officials had inspected the area after reports that seafood sales were hit, PTI reported.
“It will take at least two days to clear most of the slick at Ennore, where a collision between two ships caused the spill. It may take longer until the entire city coastline is secured,” Coast Guard commandant Commandant Pradeep B Mandal told The Times of India.
Earlier too, it was reported that workers were manually cleaning the coast. Around 30 km of the coastline has reportedly been affected by the sludge, which spilled after two ships collided off Kamarajar Port on Saturday morning. A “super sucker” cleaning truck has reportedly not been as effective as officials thought it would be, which is why manual cleaning is in progress.
Environmentalists believe the administration are under-playing the oil spill, though. Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of the Environment Foundation of India, told Mint that the oil spill cannot be manually cleaned up. He said that “advanced technology, mechanised methods and rapid measures” are necessary to tackle the spread of oil. Krishnamurthy added that a disaster was being under-played, according to the publication.
“The accident happened two nautical miles from the shore, but the wind has been carrying the oil to the shore,” said K Bharathi, vice-president of Mylai Nochikuppam Fishermen’s Cooperative Society told Scroll.in. “In some places it is difficult to even breathe because there is so much oil. “