Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fuel oil from leaked tanker spills over Karnaphuli river

  • Mitoon Chowdhury, Chattogram Bureau, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-10-26 21:00:36 BdST

An oil leak from a tanker after a collision with another ship near Dolphin Oil Jetty of Chattogram Port has caused spills over the Karnaphuli and canals connected to the river triggering concerns over environmental damage.

About 10 tonnes of diesel spilled from the tanker Desh-1, which was carrying 1,200 tonnes of oil from Padma Jetty to Khulna, when it hit the other ship, City-34, on Friday early morning.

Chattogram Port Authority Secretary Mohammad Omar Faruk on Saturday claimed 80 percent of the spilled oil was removed.

Both ships were detained and the Coast Guard will take legal actions against them, Faruk said.

CPA Deputy Conservator Capt Faridul Alam told bdnews24.com that the spill of the oil was contained fast as a cleaning vessel, Bay Cleaner-2, was nearby.

“We will stop after removing the last drop,” he said.

But environmentalists expressed concern over possibilities that high tide may take the spilled oil inward.

“It will harm fishes and small living beings in the river and threaten the ecosystem of the area,” said Professor Idris Ali, an environmental scientist.

“Such incidents are occurring up to four times a year in the Karnaphuli, which is a huge environmental threat,” he said.

Oil was seen on grass and bushes on the shore of Moheshkhal canal, nearly seven kilometres away from the main site, on Saturday.

The Department of Environment has asked the owners of the ships to appear on Sunday for a hearing.

“We’ve found evidence of environment pollution,” DoE Assistant Director Sanjukta Dasgupa said.