The Tamil Nadu government has announced Rs 15-crore relief for fishermen who were affected by the oil spill off Ennore Port last month. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced compensation of Rs 5,000 to 30,000 families. He also announced that two new fish markets would be built, at Ernavoor and Nochikuppam, Deccan Chronicle reported.

The oil spill had been caused by two ships colliding off Ennore Port on January 28, and travelled almost a 100 km to the beach town of Mammallapuram. Besides affecting the livelihoods of fishermen, it had also posed a massive threat to marine life. The bodies of several endangered Olive Ridley turtles had washed ashore, especially since the spill occurred during the species’ breeding season.

An army of volunteers had assisted the clean-up, and were forced to manually remove many dozen tonnes of sludge as machinery had failed them at the spot. The state government has been severely criticized for their initial handling of the spill.