A grey film of oil was seen on Tuesday morning across the rocks and on the water, as officials continued their clean-up operations on Tuesday morning, almost 36 hours after the oil spill at Pirwadi in Uran, 50 km from Mumbai.
In the wee hours of Monday, a rupture in Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) main trunk pipeline at Uran caused about 1.5 tonnes of oil to spill over 2.5 km of the coastline. ONGC officials plugged the leak a few hours later but the damage had already been done, leaving hundreds of fish dead.
According to a basic report submitted by ONGC to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, the plant officials came to know of the leak only when the pressure in the pipeline became low.
MPCB has also asked ONGC officials to give them updates on the clean-up operations every six hours. Dr Y B Sontake, regional officer of MPCB said that they had collected the water samples on Monday itself ,and test reports were expected in a week’s time.
“We would be checking if enough precautions were taken to curtail or clamp the oil leakage, and whether there was any negligence on the part of the ONGC, because of which the water body was polluted. We have asked for a report on the clean-up status once every six hours in order to understand how much of the sea has been cleaned. Although the oil spill, which was accidental, may presently not be of a very large quantum, we are keen on taking measures to prevent any further occurrences. Ideally, it is very important for the plant authorities to be careful about even a drop of oil.”
The MPCB officials have also asked for an explanation from the plant asking if they had met with all the required precautions from their side. Dr Sontake added, “We are emphasising on internationally accepted methods and machinery being used while cleaning up the coastline, so that no further problem is created,” he said.