NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday said 80 per cent of the works for removal of sludge from the Chennai oil spill incident has been completed and the remaining slick will be removed in the next two-three days as a massive operation to clean up the mess was underway involving 2,000 people.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping told the Rajya Sabha that three “super suckers” deployed to clean up the Chennai coastline have removed 65 tonnes of sludge and measures are being taken for their safe disposal.
The minister also said that another 54 tonnes of sludge has being removed by 1,000 people deployed with portable cleaning equipment besides undertaking manual cleaning.
Mandaviya in his statement before the House said, "Director General of Shipping has instituted an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act to ascertain the cause and contributory factors that led to the accident."
The minister assured the House that all measures are being taken to manage the situation and the Coast Guard ships and helicopters are continuously monitoring the spread of the oil slick.
The Coast Guard is coordinating with other agencies involved in the clean up exercise and if accumulation of slick is spotted at any place, more manpower and machineries will be deployed, the minister added.
Two vessels had collided on January 28 near Kamarajar harbour. One of the vessel was carrying 32,813 tonnes of POL (petroleum oil and lubricant) and suffered a rupture leading to the oil spill.
DMK MP Tiruchi Siva urged the Government to provide correct information on the volume of oil that spilled due to the collision between the two vessels. He also wondered why manual cleaning was being undertaken when technological solutions are available to contain such disasters.