Polluters must pay up: Ramesh on oil spill

Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said the law demands that the "polluter must pay up".

Updated: Aug 15, 2010, 00:02 AM IST

Mumbai: Taking a tough posture against the
owners of the two cargo ships which had collided off the
Mumbai coast resulting in oil slick, Environment and Forest
Minister Jairam Ramesh today said the law demands that the
"polluter must pay up".

"There is no conspiracy in it. It is a freak accident.
But we should see what the law says...the law says that the
polluter must pay up," Ramesh said here after visiting the
affected coast.

He said government is in the process of assessing the
environmental losses due to the August 7 disaster.

"The Ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board are
talking to law firms to file a case against these shipping
companies," Ramesh said, adding the government is also
planning to compensate the fishermen who lost their livelihood
due to the mishap.

"We have asked the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
along with the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to
study the impact of the oil spill on the mangroves in Navi
Mumbai and Raigad areas. We are expecting a preliminary report
within 2-3 weeks and a detailed report in the next 2-3
months," the Minister said.

The Ministry has also asked the Central Marine Fisheries
Research Institute, Kochi, to prepare a detailed report on the
loss of marine livestock and an action plan will be put in
place to compensate the affected fishermen, he said.

So far, almost 100km of area has been impacted by the
oil spill, of which almost 70 km area are mangroves.