PARADIP: IOCL has refuted the allegation of polluting water bodies near its refinery project that was levelled by local fishermen.
In June, large scale death of marine species including fish and crabs in Santra Creek here had spread panic among local fishermen.
They alleged that discharge of chemical effluents from the proposed Paradip refinery project of IOCL is the main cause of the fish death. Though the refinery project is yet to be commissioned, IOCL authorities have pressed several contractual agencies for the project’s construction work. The agencies have allegedly been discharging chemical effluents into Santra Creek and Kadua river leading to the mass death of fish.
Fishermen in Paradip also complained that prawn and other marine species have perished in nearly 11 gheris causing loss to the tune of `4 crore.
IOCL officials, however, refuted the allegation of the death of marine fish due to discharge of chemical waste from the refinery project. The project has not yet been commissioned and so there is no question of chemical waste being discharged into Santra Creek.
“We had collected water samples for testing at IOCL quality control lab and found the allegation baseless from the report. Moreover, more samples were collected from Santra, the creek near Simplex bridge, north side water outlet point and south side water outlet point of the refinery and sent those to Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology for exhaustive tests on various parameters. These too did not find any pollutant that can affect the aquatic life,” said an official.
In a release on Friday, IOCL authorities clarified that effluents are properly treated before being released into water bodies including Santra Creek.
Senior scientist of Odisha State Pollution Control Board, Prasant Kumar Kar, said scientists of the board are studying if de-watering of refinery project has affected the water bodies resulting in death of marine species.
“We will get the report in four to five days. As per preliminary report, oxygen deficiency is the main cause of the death of marine species,” he said.
Construction of the IOCL refinery will reportedly be commissioned from August in a phased manner.