The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is analysing samples from the oil spill resulting from a collision between two ships off the coast of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. Clean-up operations are being coordinated by the Coast Guard and involve several disparate organisations; however the Union Environment Ministry is expected to present a status report on the damage done by Wednesday.
“A team from the Bengaluru office is analysing samples,” S.P. Singh, Chairman, CPCB told The Hindu. “The Ministry of Defence is in charge of the oil spill management plan and it’s being coordinated by the Coast Guard. Assessment of any long term environmental damage is being done by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (Chennai) and the Environment Ministry.” Mr. Singh did not specify when these assessments would be complete. Preliminary assessments said several species of fish and turtle are believed to have been killed because of the spill.
The Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services has estimated that about 20 tonnes of oil may have leaked when the vessels, M.T. BW Maple and M.T. Dawn Kanchipuram , collided at 3.45 a.m. on January 28 outside the Kamarajar Port.
About 43 kms of the Tamil Nadu coastline may have been affected, the agency added.
The M.T. Dawn Kanchipuram , was carrying 32,813 tonnes of oil as cargo, though in a statement, Kamarajar Port authorities said it was engine oil and not cargo oil, that had leaked.
About 2,000 persons are involved in the clean up operations and 54 tonnes of sludge (mixture of oil, water, ocean material etc) was removed till February 2, according to the Press Information Bureau.
“Over 90% of the work has been completed and most of the residual work is expected to be over in a couple of days,” it said.