Nature’s return gift - huge oil patches on MMR beaches

Greens call for high-level technical probe

NatConnect Foundation Director B N Kumar said “It is a matter of serious environmental concern”.

NAGAON, Maharashtra: Calling it a “worrisome’, environmentalists have raised an alarm against oil pollution of the Arabian sea off Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

Huge stretches of oil and yar balls are seen all along the beaches from Alibaug to Dahanu and Palghar, NatConnect Foundation tweeted to the Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav and Maharashtra counterpart Aditya Thackeray.

Reporting from Rev Danda and Nagaon in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, NatConnect Foundation Director B N Kumar said “It is a matter of serious environmental concern”.

Looking at a number of ships anchored on the high seas off Nagaon, Kumar said: “Obviously, oil is either dumped or oil vessels are being carelessly washed in the sea. Whatever is the reason, the sea is throwing it back to the shore. This kind of presence of oil is bound to affect the marine life.”

The beaches are otherwise just beautiful, and they look like virgin beaches, Kumar, who is on a family holiday, said. But one feels sad to see the environment getting polluted so badly.

This is the Nature’s return gift for polluting the sea, he said and called for a high-level technical investigation into the phenomenon.

Another media person said “Not just Raigad but it is happening along Palghar up to Dahanu as well, covering a huge coastline. This is extremely worrying.”

“Alibaug also has a huge slurry of oil,” said an environmental lover Chaya Taralekar.  “Sad to see spoiled beaches,” she lamented.

Traditional fishing community Paramparik Machhimar Bachao Kruti Samiti spokesperson Dilip Koli said “This is horrible.” “The fish and other marine life is getting badly affected. The government must quickly intervene,” Koli said.

Mangrove Soldiers, a group of citizens who keep clearing huge garbage from mangroves in Navi Mumbai, have come across many plastic bottles being washed ashore. “We have seen thousands of footwears and now even mattresses coming back to the shore,” said Dharmesh Barai who leads the clean-up drive.