More than 80 per cent of the clean -up operation after the oil spill off Kamarajar Port in Tamil Nadu has been completed and most of the residual work is expected to be over within two to three days, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan also told the House that the Directorate General of Shipping has instituted an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act to ascertain the cause and contributory factors that led to the accident last Saturday.
Two vessels, M T BW Maple and M T Dawn Kanchipuram, had collided in the wee hours on January 28 off the Kamarajar harbour and one of the ships carrying 32,813 tonnes of oil suffered damage, leading to the spill. There was no casualty or injury to the crew members, he said.
“The total quantity of sludge which has been cleaned up till today is 65 tonnes. In addition, super suckers have removed 54 tonnes of oil mixed with water. More than 80 per cent of the work has been completed and most of the residual work is expected to be over within two to three days,” he said.
The Indian Oil Corporation has provided special bio-remediation material for treatment of the collected oil sludge for its safe disposal, he said.
After examination, the damaged vessel was towed safely and berthed at Kamarajar Port on January 30 and it has already discharged 30,013 Tonnes of POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) and the remaining quantity is expected to be discharged today. This major step has prevented any further possibility of oil spill, he said.
Radhakrishnan said a massive clean-up operation was launched in Tiruvallur, Chennai and Kancheepuram districts by engaging more than 2,000 people at various sites including Ernavur, Chennai Fishing Harbour, Marina Beach, Besant Nagar, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai and Injambakkam beaches.