Panaji: The Goa government today downplayed
the pollution of beaches due to tar balls in the state by
terming it as an "annual phenomenon".
"According to National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), a
Goa-based marine research organisation, the appearance of tar
balls along the west coast of India is an annual phenomenon,"
a press note issued by the tourism department said here.
"There is likelihood of such occurrence (tar balls) in
the months from May to October annually, generally arising
when an oil-slick occurs in the vicinity...Changing patterns
of the weather and tides play a large role in determining
whether the appearance of tar balls will continue over the
next few days," it quoted the NIO as saying.
Downplaying the possible tourism setback due to blackened
beaches, Goa tourism director Swapnil Naik said, "This is an
annual phenomenon...Close to 200 personnel are working round
the clock to ensure that the beach cleaning operations are
carried out smoothly."
Scientists from Nagpur-based National Environmental
Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) are expected to arrive
the state by early next week to conduct a closer study on the
phenomenon, he said.
The tourism industry which is gearing up for the tourist
season in October had feared adverse impact on business after
the tar balls on Goa beaches made headlines at the national
and international level.
Tourism and Travel Association of Goa (TTAG) president
Gaurish Dhond had said adverse publicity of such incidents may
affect the industry.
Majority of state`s beaches have been affected due to tar
Goa government had said some rogue ship must have
discharged its oil in the mid sea which was washed ashore.