Nearly a week after two ships, carrying liquefied petroleum gas and oil respectively, collided near the Kamarajar Port in Ennore resulting in a massive oil spill, many (including those in the media) seem to be unmoved by the enormity of the situation.
While the spill took place round 21 km away at Ennore port, the sludge has spread widely and reached the the city.
A day after the slick washed ashore in Thiruvanmiyur in South Chennai, it reached the lighthouse at Marina beach on Wednesday.
After worried fishermen informed the Chennai Corporation, around 150 workers worked at the beach since morning, scooping out the dense sheets of oil from the shore.
Bharathi, leader of the South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association, told The News Minute that the worst hit by the oil spill are the fishermen whose livelihood has been hit badly.
"From the last four days, we have been unable to go fishing. There's some kind of residue that has settled on the shore. Those who do deep-sea fishing have been venturing into the sea. But fishermen in Chennai and Tiruvallur mostly do shallow fishing. We have incurred major losses," Bharathi said.
Environmentalists have constantly been raising concerns regarding the adverse affect of the spill on marine life, besides on those who depend on the sea for work.
"The oil is on the sea surface. Deprived of sunlight, photosynthesis is cramped and as a result botanical productivity reduces. The oil harms fish that come to the surface and turtles. They get coated with oil and drown," Nityanand Jayaraman, an environmentalist had earlier told TNM.
The Ennore Kamarajar port had initially denied there was an oil spill, but have been unable to clear the sludge even on Thursday. Hundreds of workers were employed on Thursday.