The authorities’ decision to remove oil spilled of ‘OT Southern Star 7’ in the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans spraying chemical has been postponed in fear of adverse impact on the forest and its bio-diversity.
Earlier, the authorities have taken a decision to clean up the oil with the help of local people using foam and other oil-sucking materials.
As per the decision, ‘Kandari-10’, carrying 10,000 liters of chemical named oil spilled dispersant, reached in the Shella River from Chittagong on Thursday. The chemical was spread in the afternoon.
But, later the chemical use has been postponed because of objection by the Forest Department. Kandari 10 has now anchored near Chaktai range.
Mollik Anwar Hossain, Khulna Division Director of Forest Department, said, “The oil spilled dispersant will be used once we get clearance from the ministry. We asked the ministry to provide information about the chemical's manufacturing country, its manufacturing and expiry dates, import code and chemical name.”
Mongla Port Authority Chairman Commodore Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan, however, said oil collection foam and other oil-sucking materials began since Friday morning under the supervision of the local administration and the Forest Department.
But, local people alleged that the authority did not supply foam, sponge or other materials to collect the furnace oil.
Local people have been found collecting the floating oil in some areas on Friday.
Meanwhile, members of two probe committees formed to investigate into the oil tanker capsize incident visited the accident spot Friday morning.
The committees will work to asses the damage and impact of the oil tanker capsize on the ecology.
The Shipping Ministry has formed a nine-member committee to investigate the accident while the Ministry of Environment and Forest has formed a seven-member one led by its additional secretary Md Nurul Karim.
The OT Southern Star 7’, carrying some 3.57 lakh litres of furnace oil, sank in the river at Mrigmari under East Zone of the Sundarbans after being hit by a cargo vessel on Tuesday morning, causing a serious threat to the existence of the mangrove forest and its natural resources due to the oil spill.
Seven crews of the oil tanker managed to swim ashore while its master, M Mokhlesur Rahman, still remained missing.