Black sticky substance pollutes beaches of Gujarat
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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 sticky 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 from.

"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.

Bureau Report

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

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