Oil clean-up to begin in Navy Nagar | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Oil clean-up to begin in Navy Nagar

mumbai Updated: Aug 27, 2010 01:33 IST
Snehal Rebello

After cleaning up the Awas beach in Alibaug, the operation to clear up the oil-soaked sandy stretch in Navy Nagar has been finalised.

Scientists from The Energy and Resource Institute, based in Delhi, along with navy cadets will begin the bioremediation process using the oil-zapper technology on the half kilometre shore at INS Kunjali, on Saturday.

"With the ship collision site just 500 metres away from the shore, this is the most affected site," said Banwari Lal, who developed the technology. "There is a lot of oil on the sand and its saturation on the rocks is also very high."

With the state pollution control board giving its nod, Lal said that a letter has been sent to the Navy seeking its permission.

The clean-up, which willbegin at 6 am, will be completed before the 12 pm, the high tide time.

While the oil-contained sand will be manually removed with a spade and shovel, the rocks will be mopped with cotton swabs.

All this will be put into a remediation pit 100 km from the shore to keep away from the tide zone. Oil eating bacteria and nutrients that will be sprinkled into the pit will further degenerate the oil.

While the entire process will take two months, TERI scientists will collect soil samples every week to check how much oil has been degraded.

Though the area has mangroves coated with oil, the bioremediation process will not be applied to them.

"With high and low tides and turbulent waters, the mangroves will recover through the natural process," said B B Wade, Regional Director, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.