After the spirited protests by the supporters of jallikattu that rocked the Marina, the Chennai coast is seeing a solidarity of a different kind. On Thursday, hundreds of volunteers and personnel from government departments joined the Coast Guard as the massive oil spill that was triggered by the collision of two container ships near the Kamarajar Port in Ennore entered Day 5.
The day saw a total of 21 tonnes of oil mixed sludge being removed from Ramakrishna Nagar Kuppam near Ernavur, while 17 tonnes of sand mixed with sludge, sand mixed with oil and oil mixed with water were collected from other places.
At Radhakrishna Nagar, Shakti Nagar and the Elliot’s beach, Coast Guard personnel, along with volunteers from Amet University and Sams College, were involved in the clean-up operations throughout the day. In these locations, mainly sand mixed with sludge and oil was observed and collected, a release from the Coast Guard said.
On the Marina Beach, Coast Guard personnel, along with volunteers from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, KVM Marine Engineering College and Chennai Corporation were involved in the clean-up operation; here, mainly sand mixed with tar was removed.
ICGS Varad, an offshore patrol vehicle of the Coast Guard which was deployed throughout the day for spill assessment and neutralisation, did not observe any traces of the spill in the sea, the release said. From Ennore to Mamallapuram, no significant oil patches were observed in the sea and only a sheen of oil was seen at some places, it added.
Call for volunteers
Even as Operation Clean-up is proceeding at a brisk pace along the coast till the Elliot’s Beach, other beaches including Neelankarai and Palavakkam are yet to be cleaned up. Hence, the Tree Foundation has called for help from volunteers to clean the Neelankarai beach on Saturday; the Neelankarai beach is known for its Olive Ridley turtles nests, and there is a hatchery too. “Volunteers can come straight to the beach down the Kapaleeswarar Nagar Arch at Neelankarai on the East Coast Road from 10 a.m. onwards,” said Supraja Dharini, chairperson, Tree Foundation. Those interested can call 9444052242 or 9840210952.