Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], February 11 (ANI): A glass furnace pipe of Travancore Titanium Products Ltd (TTP), a public sector unit making titanium dioxide, broke on Wednesday leading to a major oil spill into the sea and parts of coastal area in Thiruvananthapuram, after which tourism and fishing activities in the region have been banned as a precautionary measure.
Thiruvananthapuram District Collector Navjot Khosa, who visited the area yesterday afternoon to evaluate the situation, said that the situation is under control.
"There is no need to fear and as a precautionary measure, tourism on the beaches of Veli, Vettukadu and Shankhumukham and fishing in the sea from these places has been banned for two days," she said.
The collector said that the source of the oil leak was quickly identified and closed, preventing the oil from spreading to the sea on a large scale.
"Meanwhile, the State Pollution Control Board is carefully assessing the extent of the oil spill and the problems that will be caused due to it. The Coast Guard is also an hourly check to assess how much oil has leaked into the sea," said the Collector who is also the head of district Disaster Management Authority.
"Preliminary reports from the Coast Guard high tide oil has not spilled too much on seas. However, oil has spread along the coast. Apart from this, it is also mixed in the coastal soil," she said.
The collector also said that the oily topsoil will be removed from the coastline area soon.
"The oil is now spread from Vettukadu to Veli. This sand will be removed with JCB to the company's own site and the oil will be neutralized with an oil neutralizer. The company has been strictly instructed to complete this expeditiously. Soil removal will be the first in densely populated areas. The Collector said that the Pollution Control Board is in discussions with experts regarding the removal of oil spills off the coast," she added.
The disaster management authority also instructed the company to immediately remove the oil that had accumulated in the area that had flowed into the sea through the canal and clean up the area. The Collector was accompanied by officials from the Pollution Control Board and officials from the Revenue and Police Departments.
Meanwhile, fishermen in the area said that a lot of fishes and sea turtles have been found dead on the seashore. (ANI)