Black sticky substance pollutes beaches of Gujarat

Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 17:29

Ahmedabad: Big lumps of black sticky
substance were found on the beaches of south Gujarat districts
of Navasri, Valsad and union territory of Daman, government
officials said here on Monday.

The spill has affected the tourism industry as the
tourists who come their could not enjoy due to big black
lumps spread all over the beaches.

"We are trying to identify the black substance which was
found in big lumps off the coast from Umbrath beach in
Navasari to Tithal beach in Valsad district," Gujarat
Pollution Control Board (GPCB) deputy regional officer Y A Tai
told a news agency.

"Samples of the substance has been collected and sent for
analysis to the laboratory. It smells like a hydrocarbon and
felt sticky when held in hand," Tai said.

The GPCB officer said they were investigating the source
of the substance. "Our officers are conducting an
investigation as to from where substance of this kind came

"There is a possibility that the substance may have been
dumped in high seas by a ship, which might have come to the
coast during the high tide," he said adding, this could also
be due to crude oil leakage in a ship in the Arabian sea.

Tai said future course of action would be decided in the
next 3-4 days after receiving the lab reports.

State government`s Forest and Environment ministry has,
meanwhile, ordered a probe into the matter.

Speaking to a news agency, Principal Secretary, Forest and
Environment, S K Nanda, said, "We have ordered an inquiry into
the substance found on the beaches of south Gujarat, the
report of which will be submitted in 15-days time".

"The inquiry has been ordered under the Environment
Protection Act," he added.

Meanwhile, Pollution Control Board (PCB) member-secretary
of Union Territory Daman, M R Reddy, said that the substance
on the beaches appears to be waste thrown after cleaning of a
ship or a boat.

"We tested the substance that was found on the beaches.
It was mix of jute and grease and some sticky substance,"
Reddy said.

"There is a possibility that the substance could have
been dumped in the sea which later landed on the beaches due
to high tide," he added.

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First Published: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 17:29

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