A day after a container carrying chemical capsules was washed ashore near Raigad, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) wants to play safe.
The MPCB has asked authorities of Thane, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Raigad districts to watch out for 10 other containers that were carrying hazardous chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, pesticides and aluminum potassium sulphate [a chemical that explodes when it comes in contact with water].
“A few chemical containers were found near the Raigad coast yesterday. So we are being cautious,” said Raigad Collector Subhash Sonawane. He added that a few beaches near Mandwa and Rewas have been cordoned off and police personnel posted there because a few containers are floating close to the shore.
“We have sent out this list of 10 containers because we don’t want to take any risks. We have also asked the Directorate General of Shipping to give us details of the cargo on board,” said Dr Y.B. Sontake, regional officer (headquarters), MPCB.
The vessel, MSC Chitra, was carrying 531 containers of which 31 contained hazardous materials. Twenty-five of these were carrying solid sodium hydroxide and six containers were carrying pesticides.
“Officials from the Directorate General of Shipping have told us that the containers are safe but we don’t want to take chances considering the ship is titled and 350 containers have either sunk or are floating,’’ said Environment Secretary Valsa Nair Singh.
The MPCB, meanwhile, received an alert from Raigad saying an official who went to inspect one of the containers that had floated ashore had complained of irritation in the eyes.