Tuesday 28 Sep 2021

Menace of tar balls raises alarm bells over disposal



Even as the State is grappling with the menace of tar balls hitting the coastal belt, the scientists and environmentalists have raised questions over the disposal of the oily substance.

There are scientific studies that say the tar balls are carcinogenic in nature and are also dangerous to marine life.

On Monday, Tourism Minister Babu Ajgaonkar had said the coastal belt in north and the south would be cleared of the tar balls within two days.

Presently the beach cleaning agency employed by the Tourism Department is clearing the beaches of tar balls. However, it is not clear how this oily substance will be disposed.

Former Scientist at National Institute of Oceanography Dr Antonio Mascarenhas raised alarm bells over the disposal saying the government should be serious on its handling as they were carcinogenic in nature.

“Tapping and controlling source of these tar balls is beyond the scope of State. The central government can employ international agencies to tackle this menace and manage the tar balls on the shore”, he said. 

How the government is going to dispose these tar balls is the pertinent question which is coming in my mind Dr Mascarenhas said, adding

there should be a proper scientific study for their disposal.

Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral who was not very sure on the methods that would be employed to dispose the tar balls said, “these tar balls along other hazardous materials are buried deep at some secluded sites". 

He, however, did not know where exactly the oily substance would be taken or buried at ground level as there were no clear cut SOPs for handling these.

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