Panaji: The Goa government today launched
an extensive operation to clean up beaches, where tar balls
Blackening of the beaches, popular with tourists, was
noticed yesterday, and with the high tide, thick tar balls
were still getting washed ashore, officials said.
The tar blobs are said to be formed by illegal
discharge of oil by ships in the high seas.
Tourism Department Director Swapnil Naik said they
cannot say when the operation will end because tar balls are
still surfacing from the sea.
The government sent a team of officials from state
pollution control board, Tourism Department and district
administration to take stock of the situation.
Environment Minister Aleixo Sequira and Tourism
Minister Nilkant Halarnkar inspected the polluted stretch
between Colva and Velsao beaches in South Goa.
Drishti Response Services, a private agency that
manages beaches, said a majority of beaches in North Goa have
been cleared of tar balls, while work was on in the South.
"We don`t have specialised gadgets to clean up
beaches. We have deployed labourers who use brooms to clear
thick balls," a Drishti Response spokesman said.
Naik allayed fears of tourism taking a hit.
"The (tourist) season will begin in October. We will
clean all the beaches by that time," he said.