Oil pollution sighted in Thane after ship collision leak

Mumbai, Aug 13 (IANS) Oil pollution has been sighted in Maharashtra’s Thane district and some areas along the coast in south Mumbai a week after two ships collided in Mumbai harbour, an official said Friday.

‘Further oil pollution has been sighted at Kalwa in Thane district as well as in Navy Nagar, INS Shivaji and US Club areas,’ said a directorate general of shipping official.

The Coast Guard continues to co-ordinate pollution mitigation measures in the area.

However, from the analysis of water samples, no contamination from hazardous chemicals (sodium hydroxide) or pesticides has been noticed, the official said.

Almost a week after Panamanian cargo carrier, MSC Chitra, collided with a St. Kitts-flagged vessel, MV Khalijia-III, just outside the Mumbai harbour last Saturday, a convoy of 10 ships was piloted out of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Friday, a day after the partial operations were restored on both the ports.

In addition, 11 ships including one crude oil tanker and one LPG tanker were piloted in the two ports.

‘The naval survey during the convoy escort has not reviewed ingress of any fresh container in the navigation channel. No sunken container was observed at the bottom of the channel except one. The sunken containers appeared to have moved due to tidal currents,’ the official said.

The tilting of Chitra has further reduced and now it stands at 45 to 50 degrees. ‘As a result no oil spill has been reported nor the falling of any fresh container in the water,’ the official added.

On an average, Mumbai harbour handles the entry and exit of around 35 huge ships daily, besides scores of smaller vessels and defence ships through the main shipping channel.

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