Furnace oil from TTP leaks into sea; leak plugged, say company officials

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10 (PTI) Furnace oil from the state run Travancore Titanium Products here leaked into the sea on Wednesday over a one km stretch, but company officials said it was contained within half an hour and the cleaning operations have begun.

Local fishermen first spotted the leak from the pumping line to the boiler, which had spread from Veli to Shangumugham area and alerted TTP officials and the authorities concerned.

Company officials told PTI that the leak was plugged within half an hour and the cleaning process has been initiated with the help of locals.

'Since the leak was near the drain, it spread to the sea along the coast for nearly one km.

The cleaning process has begun. The work is being done with the helpof the locals and we expect it to be completed by this evening.

We will resume the work only after replacing the faulty line,' Georgee Ninan, Managing Director of TTP, told PTI.

TTP is a pioneer manufacturer and distributor of Titanium dioxide Anatase grade pigment.

District Collector Navjot Khosa visited the company and the adjacent beach, inspected the site and said the district authorities were examining the extent of damage.

She said the district authority, in consultation with the Kerala State Pollution Control Board, has initiated the process of removing the polluted sand from the beach.

'We plan to finish the cleaning process by removing the polluted sand from the beach and separate the oil.

As of now, it has not spread much into the sea. But we still need to monitor the sea with the help of the Coast Guard and to assess the situation in the next 48 hours.

The spread depends upon the wind and tide conditions,' Khosa told reporters.

She said the KSPCB will assess the damagecaused to the fishermen and nature and decide the compensation to be given.

'Further action will be taken after the Board submits its report. There are guidelines in case of such spills. We will act accordingly, she said.

Congress MLA V S Sivakumar who visited the area alleged that the fishermen would not be able to put out to sea for at least a month as the area has been polluted.

'Fishermen, especially those in the shore seine fishing activity, have been affected.

The state government should give adequate compensation to those who lost their livelihood,' he told reporters.

Ninan said the companywill discuss the matter with the councillors and the local people and provide necessary compensation to those who lost their livelihood. PTI RRT APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR