NEW DELHI: Concerned over the tar balls phenomenon on Goa beaches, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has asked the state pollution control board to find out the source of the aquatic pollutant and study how to dispense them off.
"I have asked the State Pollution Control Board to study the real source of tar balls. We are studying how to dispense them off, how to ecologically get rid of them," Parrikar, who was in Delhi today, told PTI.
The Chief Minister said the tar ball is an "annual phenomenon" which is happening as many boats and big ships wash their tanks some 10 kms or 5 kms off the Goa coast.
"...Because of changing currents, they come to the shore," he said after meeting Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik had recently asked the Environment Ministry to take steps to save Goa beaches from tar balls. In a letter to Javadekar, he had said the Government should take steps to ensure that crude oil ships refrain from deballasting at sea.
Asked whether he has raised the issue with the Environment Minister, Parrikar said the state pollution control board was capable of handling the situation.
According to Naik, tar balls -- a blob of petroleum -- pollute beaches including Calangute, Candolim, Colva and Benaulim "turning them black, badly affecting tourism in Goa."
Naik had said that he raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha sometime back and his doubts have come true that ships carrying crude oil clean their tanks off the Goa coast disregarding international norms.
According to a study conducted by National Institute of Oceanography, South East Asian Crude Oil (SEACO) was responsible for the problem.
"It is possible that tankers proceeding to the Middle East with SEACO are likely to clean their tanks in the Arabian Sea. The resulting oil undergoes weathering process, leading to tar ball formation," says the NIO study.