With the oil spill off Chennai coast raising concerns, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam reached Ennore Port to review the operation. Speaking to news agency ANI, the chief minister said it is extraordinary that Centre and State are working together at such a large scale. “It is an extraordinary situation. The Centre and the state government are working together. More than 5700 people took part in the clean-up operations,” O Panneerselvam said. The Centre on Saturday claimed that 65 tonnes of sludge has been removed so far and over 90 per cent of the work has been completed. Reiterating Centre’s claim that the work will be finished in a couple of days, Pannerselvam said the Centre and the state government are working closely and efforts are being taken to safeguard fishermen’s livelihood.
Announcing compensation for fishermen who had to bear loss, Pannerselvam said the fishes in the region are safe for consumption. “Fishermen in the region will be compensated for the loss. Fishes caught from this region are found to be fit for consumption. There is no impact on marine flora and fauna,” he said.
The oil spill at Chennai coast, which was triggered after the collision of two ships last week outside Kamarajar Port, has raised severe environmental concerns. An immediate clean-up operation was 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.
The Environment Ministry has issued a notice to Kamarajar port authorities, after a week of operation, seeking to know whether it had installed necessary infrastructure needed to deal with situations like these. Meanwhile the Central government authorities have said that they are keeping a close watch on the situation.