Chennai, February 3

Nearly a week after the oil spill due to collision of two ships off Chennai’s coast near Ennore port, hundreds of volunteers have removed about 60 tonnes of sludge in a massive clean-up effort.

Strong winds and waves have caused the oil spill to spread as it has crossed the Marina Beach and Eliot Beach and is moving to other beaches in Chennai. The situation at Ramakrishna Nagar beach is abyssmal.

After the collision between two ships took place near Chennai’s Kamarajar Port, more than 20 tonnes of thick oil spilled into the Bay of Bengal, affecting the marine life and a 35-km stretch of shoreline.

Helicopter of Coast Guard is searching for the oil sludge in the sea.

Oil Spill

Hundreds of volunteers including students from engineering colleges and fishermen are involved in clearing the thick sludge that machines have failed to remove. Oil spill dispersants and neutralisers are being sprayed by Coast guard ships and choppers. They are filling wet sand with oil into bags.

DMK member Kanimoli raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. Kanimoli expressed concern about environment threat due to the lack of coordination between port officials and coast guards.

The Tamil Nadu government assured that there is nothing to worry and the oil sludge is more concentrated at one place only. Situation will come under control within two or three days.

Along with the oil, dead fish, tortoises, snakes are coming to the shore. Fishermen are worried that nobody is purchasing fish based on rumours that fish died in the sea itself before being netted.