After nearly 110 oil barrels were seen floating off Maharashtra coast, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has alerted Goa, Karnataka and Kerala governments with looming threat of a spill if the barrels break midway.
The iron drums with 200 litre capacity were initially found floating off-Maharashtra coast during surveillance of the sea by ICG near Kashid beach in Konkan region, some 135km from Mumbai.
ICG's PRO commandant Akshay Jain in a letter to these states said, "These drums were first sighted off Kashid beach and since then coastal and local police stations are reporting recovery of drums up to Vengurla (Maharashtra) coast."
"Total 90 drums have been recovered till August 10. It is probable that the (remaining) drums may also land along Goa, Karnataka and Kerala coast," the ICG has said. He informed that the drums contain hydrocarbon product (oil) which may be "harmful to humans". "The origin and source of these floating drums are being ascertained," he said.
"In view of the above, it is requested that concern departments in your jurisdiction may be sensitised accordingly," he added.
Goa State Pollution Control Board chairman Jose Manuel Noronha said all state government agencies under oil spill management plan have been informed about the possibility of these drums hitting the state's coast.
"There are 200 drums which were found floating. They might fallen of board from the ship passing the region," he said.
"The authorities like the district collectors, respective panchayats, health department, captain of ports and fire and emergency services have been also asked to be on alert," he added.
Goa has 105km long coastline which is frequented by over four million tourists annually.