All major tourist destinations including beaches in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala are closed for public as a glass furnace pipeline ruptured and oil leaked into the sea at the Travancore Titanium Products (TTP) factory on Wednesday.
A two-kilometre stretch from Veli to Puthukurichy has been affected by the oil spill. The oil started leaking sometime after midnight and split over to the sea via the drainage. The thick oil has mixed with the sea sand and sedimented at the coast, reported The New Indian Express.
The public sector unit's officials said that the leak has been plugged and work is being done to remove the oil from the sea. But as a precaution, the public has been barred from visiting the coast at Shanghumugham and Veli.
The government has imposed a temporary ban for the public and tourists to the major tourist destinations in Thiruvananthapuram district, Veli, and Shanghumugham beaches, India Today reported.
"The Coast Guard is also monitoring the incident. The pollution control board is in discussions with various experts about the removal of oil spilt off the coast," said Thiruvananthapuram District Collector Navjot Khosa.
The fishermen said that many fishes and turtles were found dead on the seashore. They also demanded that the government compensate them for their loss as they are unable to fish due to the oil leak into the sea.
The preliminary reports from the coast guard showed a not much oil has spilt into the sea due to the low tide. However, the spilt oil has spread along the coast. It has also mixed with the coastal soil, said the reports.
The district collector assured that the oily topsoil would be removed from the area soon. Presently, the oil is spread from the coastline of Vettukadu to Veli.
The factory is expected to use the excavators to move the oily topsoil to their own land, then remove and dilute the oil with an oil neutraliser. The factory has also been strictly instructed to complete this process soon.