The state pollution control board on Tuesday said there was no oil or fuel leak from MV Wisdom, the cargo ship that has been stranded on Juhu beach for the past two weeks.
On Monday, a kilometre-long oil slick was found on the Juhu coast following which the police cordoned off that entire stretch.
“The analysis of water samples collected on Tuesday morning does not show any presence of oil or fuel,” said YB Sontake, regional officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). “Some negligible traces of oil were found but that has possibly come from the oil rigs in the high sea during high tide.”
Though the vessel is carrying four tonnes of oil, Sontake said the MPCB has got no alerts of a leak from the Directorate General of Shipping or the Coast Guard.
“If we get an alert from their end, we will immediately press into action and work on mitigation methods,” said Sontake. “However, we will continue collecting samples and keep a watch.”
“There are oil pipelines, ships and oil rigs in the sea. When the winds move from the sea towards land during the monsoon, it brings along with it oil from various sources, which deposits on the coast,” said SN Gajbhiye from the National Institute of Oceanography in Mumbai.
“This phenomenon may be the reason for the oil slick. The ship does not contain any hazardous material.”
While there is fear that the stranded ship could lead to seabed erosion, Gajbhiye said it would have to be studied once the 9,000-tonne ship is removed from the site.
On June 11, the 175-metre-long cargo vessel bound for the ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat, broke loose from its tug and drifted towards the Bandra-Worli sea link. However, it finally ran aground off the Juhu beach.