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Monday, October 7, 2013

ONGC oil leak hits Uran coast Heavy Pollution Feared Along 10-Km Stretch

Navi Mumbai/Mumbai: A pipeline in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's Uran plant developed a leak on Sunday night, spilling about 5,000 litres of crude oil into the Arabian Sea that spread about 10km along the coastline and caused considerable water pollution. 

    The grey-black film of oil stretched along the Uran shoreline, from Mora to Karanja villages, adversely affecting local fishermen and raising ecological concerns. Environmentalists said if the oil seeps into the sand on the shore, it could irreparably damage the soil and the region's flora and fauna. They added that given the spread of the spill, the quantum of crude leaked into the sea could be high. ONGC ordered to clean up Uran oil spill, environmentalists push for quick action 
Navi Mumbai/Mumbai: A Maharashtra Pollution Control Board officer, Kishor Kirlekar, visited on Monday the area affected by the oil spill from the ONGC plant in Uran. He said that a detailed report on the incident will be submitted to the tehsildar's office. A source, meanwhile, maintained that about 5,000 litres of crude oil "had leaked into the Arabian Sea". 
    S K Pathak of the ONGC said a power failure hit the Uran plant around 8pm on Sunday, causing the machines to trip. "Due to this, pressure built up in the portion of the trunk line, which carries oil and gas, at the plant and there was a minor leak in the 2-inch drainage line 
called decongealing line." 
    Pathak added that, alerted by a foul smell, "we mobilized the crisis team and plugged the leakage by clamping the pipeline and the situation was brought under 
control in the night". Some leakage was plugged on Monday morning too; "the leaked crude oil was blocked in the drainage channel and the quantity pumped back". Also, the channel leading towards the sea was blocked to prevent further discharge of crude. Pathak said that a marine agency was deployed to clean the spill; "cleaners and absorbents are being used for mopping up the shoreline". 
    Uran tehsildar Sheshnath Patil said, "The water surface and rocks on the shore have become greasy due to the spill. We have informed the ONGC administration to undertake the clean-up of the coastline. Fishing activities have been discontinued for some days, at least until the coastline is cleaned." 
    A local fisherman, Martand Nakhwa, lamented, "The fishing community in the villages of Mora, Nagaon, Danda and Karanja will be 
greatly affected. The spill is bound to kill some fish." 
    A Mumbai-based environmentalist emphasised that 
the water must be cleaned immediately to "prevent further spread of the oil". 
    Rakesh Kumar of the Na
tional Environmental Engineering Institute said the oil may have spread to the sand on the shore due to tidal activity. "If it seeps into the sand, it will ruin the top layers and stunt the growth of plants and animals in the area."

The oil slick threatens both soil and flora and fauna in the area


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