75 Boats, 300 workers engaged in clearing Chennai's Ennore Creek oil spill | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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75 Boats, 300 workers engaged in clearing Chennai's Ennore Creek oil spill | Latest updates

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Dec 15, 2023 06:17 PM IST

The oil spill has affected hundreds of families whose livelihoods depend on the coastal habitat, biodiversity, and aquatic life.

An oil spill, caused during cyclone Michaung in Chennai's Ennore Creek, is being cleared by 75 boats with 300 personnel deployed. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), the source of the spill, has been directed by the state government to intensify mitigation efforts by deploying more booms, skimmers, and trained manpower.

Chennai: Rescue officials clean after an oil spill in the Bay of Bengal off the Ennore Creek area in the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung, in Chennai, Friday.(PTI)
Chennai: Rescue officials clean after an oil spill in the Bay of Bengal off the Ennore Creek area in the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung, in Chennai, Friday.(PTI)

It has been over 10 days since the spill was reported, and its impact has affected hundreds of families whose livelihoods depend on the coastal habitat, biodiversity, and aquatic life.

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In the video shared by news agency ANI, workers were seen manually collecting the spilled oil into drums, while others used machines for collection.

Latest updates on clearing the oil spill

-The State Oil Crisis Management Group, led by chief secretary Shiv Das Meena, examined ongoing mitigation efforts in the Ennore creek area and impacted villages during its meeting on Wednesday.

-CPCL received instructions from the state government to ensure the safety of personnel engaged in mitigation work.

-Boats are actively removing oil from the water surface and transporting it ashore. Four gully sucker machines are in use for this purpose.

-Cleanup initiatives have commenced, including the removal of oil-soaked debris in nearby villages. Booms have been set up to contain oil spread, while an oil skimmer machine is extracting oil from the creek. Plans are in place to deploy four additional oil skimmers soon.

-Health measures involve setting up mobile health camps for residents and a special camp for stray and pet animals. Various departments like the Forest Department, TN Pollution Control Board, and Environment Department are overseeing the ongoing efforts.

-The Oil Crisis Management Group directed the Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation and the Director of Fisheries to conduct a comprehensive assessment of affected families and submit a report to the Relief Commissioner.

How did the spill happen? When was it noticed?

Fishermen initially noticed oil emerging from the premises when the cyclone hit on December 4, causing heavy rains that flooded the city. CPCL denied any leakage, leaving it unclear how oil mixed with floodwater and emerged from their premises. The pollution control board confirmed the spill originated from CPCL, flowing into the Buckingham Canal and reaching Ennore Creek. This spillage has impacted numerous families reliant on coastal livelihoods, biodiversity, and aquatic life. The National Green Tribunal (NGT), in a hearing on December 12, instructed the state to compensate for the livelihood losses.

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