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

CHENNAI, Feb 4 (PTI): With the oil spill off the coast here raising concerns, the Centre on Saturday said 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.
Among others, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was providing special bio-remediation material for treatment of the collected oil sludge for safe disposal.
“The 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,” an official release said.
“More than 90 percent of the work has been completed and most of the residual work is expected to be completed in a couple of days,” it said.
Further, ‘Super Suckers’ had removed 54 tonnes which contained 70 per cent water, it added.
“The Indian Oil Corporation has provided special bio-remediation material for treatment of the collected oil sludge for its safe disposal.
“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,” the release said.
Chennai Port and Tamil Nadu government have organised medical camps today at Ernavoor and Kasimedu fisheries harbour.
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 release stated that as soon as the oil leak was tracked, the Coast Guard started mobilising equipment and manpower for clean-up at various locations and coordinated the operations.
A massive 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.

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