A “minor collision” between two ships at Kamarajar port near Chennai on Saturday has turned into a mini-disaster along the Ennore-Chennai coastline. While the authorities had initially denied the spill, black waves of oil were seen on the surface of the sea, resulting in the washed out bodies of a large number of fishes and turtles. According to IE, Tuesday saw fishermen and environmentalists calling for action against the port authorities for attempting to deny the spill and its effects. While there has been a lack of the availability of equipment for handling the situation, more than 300 people, including the coast guards and local fishermen were seen removing the thick layer of oil with buckets from the sea shores.
One of the senior pilots at the Ennore port had told IE, a few hours after the incident, that there has been no oil spill. It was later noticed that a thin layer of oil was spreading in the sea for the next two days. One of the other senior officials was of the view that the leakage had taken place much later than the time of the collision and was a result of the delay in controlling the situation.
Now, 5 days after the collision, hundreds of coast guards and other volunteers had taken up the responsibility to clean up the 20 tonnes of oil spill, according to NDTV. M A Bhaskharachar, Chairman of the Kamarajar Port told the media that they had tried all kinds of technology and found out that manual cleaning to be the only possibility. Environmentalists, meanwhile remain worried about the effects of the spill on the marine life. Turtles and a large number of dead fish have been seen floating on the surface of the water. Emily Titus told NDTV that the spill would disturb the oxygen supply of these species.