Chennai oil spill: Over 90% of clean-up work over,says Centre

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On January 28, two shipping vessels had collided outside the Kamarajar Port at Ennore, resulting in rupture for one of them which led to an oil spill. The oil spill had spread southward beyond Marina beach, about 25km from the accident spot. Coast Guard workers used 25 litre buckets to scoop out the oil sludge formed due to the spill from MT Dawn Kanchipuram. The release stated that as soon as the oil leak was tracked, the Coast Guard started mobilizing equipment and manpower for clean-up at various locations and coordinated the operations..The Center on Saturday reported that a total of 65 tonnes of sludge has been removed so far and over 90 per cent of the work completed.It also expressed confidence that the cleaning operation will be finished in a couple of days. A massive clean-up operation is also launched in Tiruvallur, Chennai and Kancheepuram districts by engaging more than 2000 persons at various sites including Ernavur, Chennai Fishing Harbour, Marina Beach, Besant Nagar, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai and Injambakkam beaches.
Among others, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was providing special bio-remediation material for treatment of the collected oil sludge for safe disposal.
An officer said that a total quantity of sludge which was removed till February 2 was 65 tonnes. It is observed that there is a vast difference between quantity of oil spilt and sludge recovered due to the fact that the oil gets coagulated and becomes puffy when it is recovered with water and sand
Further, ‘Super Suckers’ had removed 54 tonnes which contained 70 per cent water.Even HPCL has arranged for trailers and manpower for transporting collected sludge to Ennore port area for bio remediation treatment under the expert guidance of IOC R&D experts where 2000 Sq.M. pit has been created for the purpose. Chennai Port and Tamil Nadu government have organised medical camps at Ernavoor and Kasimedu fisheries harbour to make sure that none are affected because of oil spill.

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