Goa beach tar balls to be sent to oil refineries

Black thick tar balls that surfaced in various beaches in Goa will now be sent to oil refineries to avoid further pollution.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2010, 11:04 AM IST

Panaji: Black thick tar balls that surfaced in various beaches in Goa will now be sent to oil refineries to avoid further pollution.

Goa Tourism minister Nilkant Halarnkar said, "truck loads of tar balls collected from several beaches in Goa will be sent to refineries instead of disposing them off in open
fields or elsewhere."

"Although the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has said that these tar balls will not create any pollution as they are made of petroleum products but still we are not
taking any chances," he told reporters here yesterday.

The minister said tar balls surfacing on the coastal state`s beaches was an annual phenomenon but this time, their presence was much more.

Majority of beaches were hit with tar balls which began appearing since last Monday and continued for a week. The worst affected were beaches in South Goa.

Halarnkar said the state has roped in the Coastguard, Navy and NIO to go deep into the issue.

"Some ship had mischievously dumped oil in the sea off Goa coast in the international waters which had washed ashore," the minister said.

Halarnkar said since the state government has no control over international waters, the issue needs to be sorted out with the help of defence forces, who keep vigil in high seas.

He said the tar ball phenomenon will have no impact on the tourism season that will begin from October.

PTI