The oily shores of Chennai


The oil spill on Chennai's shore and consequent inadequate response by authorities raises serious questions.,,,

The oily shores of Chennai

The Ennore coastal area has become an environmental crime scene, where the areas reserved for communal use such as grazing grounds and margins of wetland have been encroached and highly polluted. On January 28, two ships collided off Kamarajar Port Limites’s harbor in Ennore. Large quantities of oil spilled in the coastal sea. However, there is no clarity on the quantity of oil spill and the nature of the material. Responsible agencies are busy downplaying the incident and also on its consequences. This is quite surprising when they have not made any assessment of the same. Although it is said that disasters are great teachers, we seem to have taken no lesson from them as is evident from the past so many disasters. The TN government employed un-trained persons for the clean-up process who were not even provided with adequate protective gear. This could be dangerous for their lives, but the responsible are un-mindful of the same. Oil spills are hazardous waste, but neither the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board nor the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change have issued any advisories of the incident. Read a detailed Bodhi on global warming and its dangers, here.
Even a prosecution has not been launched against those who violated environmental laws. It seems we are still not aware of what it takes to clean-up in case of such incidents of chemical disasters. The Union Carbide handed over the Bhopal Plant to the government of MP stating that the clean-up was complete but the site still remains contaminated. Similarly, clean-up exercise taken up in a hurry with the help of un-trained volunteers without the required equipments in the recent incident could prove disastrous for the local residents.  Are we bent upon destroying our environment, ecosystem and the normal lives of the local citizens? When would we realize the seriousness of such disasters and their future consequences? When would we wake up? Doesn’t look likely in the near future.

चेन्नई के तेल मिश्रित तट

एन्नोर का तटीय क्षेत्र पर्यवार्नीय अपराध स्थल बन गया है जहाँ पशु चराई मैदानों और आर्द्र भूमि की सीमा जैसे सामुदायिक उपयोग के लिए अरक्षित क्षेत्रों पर अतिक्रमण किया गया है और ये सभी क्षेत्र भयंकर रूप से प्रदूषित हैं। 28 जनवरी को एन्नोर के कामराजर पोर्ट लिमिटेड के बंदरगाह के अपतटीय क्षेत्र में दो जहाज आपस में टकराए और इनसे तटीय समुद में भारी मात्रा में तेल रिसाव हुआ। हालांकि सभी जिम्मेदार अभिकरण इसे गौण घटना बता रहे है, यह आश्चर्यजनक है क्योंकि रिसाव हुए तेल की मात्रा और इसमें मौजूद सामग्री के बारे में कोई स्पष्टता नहीं हैहालांकि यह कहा जाता है कि आपदाएं हमें महान शिक्षा देती है, परंतु ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि हमनें अभी तक पूर्व में हुई आपदाओं से कोई सीख नहीं ली है। तमिलनाडु सरकार ने इसकी सफाई के लिए अप्रशिक्षित लोगों को लगाया जिन्हें पर्याप्त सुरक्षा उपकरण भी प्रदान नहीं किये गए थे। यह उनके जीवन के लिए खतरनाक हो सकता है, परंतु जिम्मेदार लोगों को इसकी चिंता नहीं है। तेल रिसाव खतरनाक अपशिष्ट होते हैं परंतु न तो तमिलनाडु प्रदूषण नियंत्रण बोर्ड और न ही पर्यावरण, वन एवं जलवायु परिवर्तन मंत्रालय की ओर से इस बारे में कोई परामर्शी (एडवाइजरी) जारी की गई है। वैश्विक उष्मन और उसके खतरों पर एक बोधि पढ़ें यहाँ!

यहाँ तक कि घटना के लिए जिम्मेदार लोगों और अभिकरणों के विरुद्ध कोई मुकदमा भी दायर नहीं किया गया है। ऐसा प्रतीत होता है कि इस प्रकार की रासायनिक आपदा की घटनाओं के बाद सफाई कैसे करनी है इसके बारे में हम अभी भी अनभिज्ञ हैं। यूनियन कार्बाइड ने वर्ष 1996 में भोपाल संयंत्र मध्यप्रदेश सरकार को यह कहकर सौंपा था कि इसे पूरी तरह से साफ कर दिया गया है, परंतु आज भी यह क्षेत्र दूषित है। उसी प्रकार, हाल की घटना के बाद जल्दबाजी में अप्रशिक्षित स्वयंसेवकों के माध्यम से शुरू किया गया सफाई अभियान स्थानीय नागरिकों के लिए भविष्य में खतरनाक हो सकता है। क्या हम अपने पर्यावरण, पारिस्थितिकी तंत्र और स्थानीय नागरिकों के सामान्य जीवन को नष्ट ही करना चाहते हैं? हम इस प्रकार की आपदाओं और भविष्य में होने वाले परिणामों की गंभीरता को कब समझेंगे? हम कब जागेंगे? निकट भविष्य में तो यह संभव नहीं लगता



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Bodhi Saar: The oily shores of Chennai
The oily shores of Chennai
The oil spill on Chennai's shore and consequent inadequate response by authorities raises serious questions.
Bodhi Saar
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