M’lore: Oil deposits on beaches worries fishermen, public

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  • District administration has written to Directorate General of Shipping

Mangalore, 02June 2010: Shores in undivided Dakshina Kannada are tainted by botches of oil deposit, which have left many unanswered questions in the minds of people.

The oil deposites are being seen since several years during peak summer but this year the volume of deposition is alarming. Fishing community, which is worried over the possibility of oil deposition causing depletion in fish stock, are holding petro chemical company in the region and disposal of oil by various ships anchoring at New Mangalore port responsible for the havoc.  “It is either because of MRPL or because of the ships. The ships which come to the port release the engine oil at the port themselves because if they follow the proceedure they will have to shell out Rs 30,000. To save this money, they themselves release the oil out. We are paying for their greed and we will have to pay heavier price in future,” says a fisherman from Thannirbavi.

The oil deposition is found at Ullal, Chitrapura, Panambur, Thannirbavi and even at Byndoor. Though a team comprising of NMPT, MRPL and Pollution Contriol Board officials visited the spot and said that a committee will be constituted to look into the issue, nothing has materialised in this regard. However, district administration is taking note of the situation had got into active mode. In-charge DC Prabhakar Sharma has said that district administration has already written to Directorate General of Shipping about the issue.

Panambur Beach Development Project Director Yathish Baikampady speaking to Deccan Herald said that there is a need to investigate and clarify various aspects like the root cause for the deposition, the nature of the material that is being deposited and prevention.

“Some say it is furnace oil and many say it is industrial waste. Nobody knows what exactly is happening and why. Earlier, the deposits used to be like granules but now each of the lump of black dried material measure about 6 to 7 inches. Since the oil deposite is found in Byndoor as well the possibility of depositiion due to industrial waste seems vague. The oil must be released from ships,” said Baikampady who with the help of his initiative called Panambur Beach Development Project had taken up cleaning of Panambur beach last week.

Baikampady also said that the agencies which have been conducting study for the big companies in the region should provide correct report on the status of marine life in the region and how the affluents from the companies can affect the region. Otherwise, people will be left in a state of confusion, blame anyone and everyone in such situations. A fisheries expert on conditions of anonymity said that the deposition is called ‘tar balls’ and they are basically hydro carbons, which are mixtures of petro chemical wastes, oils etc. He said that the source of the deposit is hard to find because no research or indepth study has been done in this direction but he points that the deposition could be the outcome of excessing disposal of industrial waste or release of oil by ships.


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