CHENNAI: A week after the oil spill caused by collision of two ships hit the shores of the Chennai city, Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam on Sunday visited the affected areas and assured the oil will be removed in a couple of days.
“As far as Kancheepuram district is concerned, 95 percent of the work is completed and in Chennai district, 98 percent of the work is completed," he said. In Tiruvallur district's shore (which lies north of Chennai), about 10 percent of the accumulated oil is yet to be removed, he added and expressed hope on completing it in one or two days.
A total of 5700 persons are involved in the cleaning operations and sludge removal work will be completed in a day or two, he said.
“We have tested the fish from this part of the sea and found that there is no toxic material and as such, there is no need for any apprehension about (consumption of) the fish,” the chief minister said. He also thanked the volunteers and employees from all other departments who were involved in the cleaning operations.
Asked whether the government would provide any compensation to the fishermen as their fishing equipments had been damaged due to the oil spill, the chief minister said, “An assessment would be made and an appropriate compensation would be given.”
Responding to another question, Panneerselvam said, “Marine living organisms have not been affected by this oil spill. An enquiry is on the oil spill is being carried out by experts and full details would be known only once the enquiry is completed.”
When enquired about the allegations that the government departments acted lethargically on the issue, the chief minister denied it and said the State government department had acted on a war-footing at the receipt of information,
Fisheries minister D Jayakumar, environment minister KC Karuppanan, senior officials from various departments accompanied the chief minister during this visit to Ernavur.