Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SEE and Just Sympathize ! !

SEE and Just Sympathize ! !

I have been collecting water samples from different locations of South Mumbai and analyzing them to detect pollution. It was always disheartening to see plastic and other wastes polluting the sea but the worst sight was the oil spill at Marine Drive and since than I have been collecting water samples from different areas of Mumbai Coast to check the extent of oil spill.

The beautiful coastline is already under high anthropogenic pressure and now, MSC Chitra and Khalijia have just added to the cause. The mixture of oil and water is known as 'mousse', an extremely sticky substance that clings to any marine body and surface that comes in contact with it. Unfortunately, many marine life forms get trapped in it, while some may swim into it because it resembles food. Wildlife other than fish and sea creatures, including mammals, reptiles, and birds that live in or near the ocean, are also poisoned by the oil waste.

About 500 tones of oil has already flown. Other than tones of fuel, diesel and lubricant oil, 31 containers have pesticide in them. We were worrying about the oil spill and now, containers of pesticide are bobbing off on the sea.

The west coast of India expresses high wave activity during monsoon which further spreads the spill to great distances and even to the coasts. The oil waste reaching to the shoreline, interacts with the sediments such as beach sand and rocks, vegetation, causing erosion as well as contamination.

We have been discussing many issues like

* When will the traffic suspended at Mumbai harbor be restored?

* How long will it take to clear the spill?

* How much cost will be incurred during the clean –up?

* Who will pay for it?

* Which technology will be used for it?

* How long will the fishery industry suffer?

But when will we ask

* How much environmental impact has the oil spill caused?

* How many animals are killed ?

* Will all the sick and injured animals get rescued?

* Other than economical impact, will the government take a stance for the environment disaster?

* Will an environmental assessment committee be formed to keep a check on the impact of his disaster?

* Is the damaged caused irreversible?

* What will be the long term impact of this disaster?

The Oil Spill may be cleared within a few months and we will forget about it but the impact of disaster will live with us. In nature there is a process called bioaccumulation, where concentration of pollutants increase and are passed on in a food chain to higher level. These toxic substances can easily enter the human system and will be passed on to future generations to come.

The cost incurred in cleaning up the oil spill can be recovered from the two Shipping Companies But the key questions that needs to be answered is

Can we recover the loss that the oil spill has caused to the marine environment ?

Are we going to be mute spectators? Will we only have sympathy and emotions rather than any actions ?

And if so, there is no future for our wildlife or nature… SEE & Just Sympathize!

1 comment:

drsachinjadhav said...

Hi, we like to see some pictures of the spill for a visual impression.