A high-level meeting on Thursday to review rehabilitation measures for the oil leak in Tondiarpet, instructed the oil company to provide safe, clean drinking water to the victims. The meeting, chaired by Environment Minister M C Sampath, asked the oil company responsible for the spill to clean up contaminated drinking water wells in the area within a week. Ground water of around 40 families in the area has been contaminated by the leak, which came to light on July 13.
The meeting also saw the participation of Environment and Forests Secretary Mohan Verghese Chunkath, TNPCB chairman D Karthikeyan and other officials. Representatives from all oil companies were also present. “The CM has given strict instructions that the situation be monitored stringently. TNPCB officers are tracking the situation over the past few days. Around 10 wells on Varadaraja Perumal Koil Street have been contaminated. The pollution is very high in four wells. We have asked the oil company to clean up these wells within a week,” Sampath told Express.
Officials at the TNPCB have said the oil company is pumping water out of the wells and is in the process of cleaning them up. “We are waiting for some test results. Based on these, we will give them some directions either on Friday or Saturday,” said a source, pointing out that officials have already instructed the oil company to provide drinking water to affected families.