Oil slicks to take toll on marine life, authorities fear
At least 10 tons of diesel has spilled into the Karnaphuli river following a collision between two lighter oil tankers.
The accident took place at the river’s Padma Jetty around 3am on Saturday, confirmed the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).
According to the port officials, Khulna bound oil tanker Desh-1 carrying 1200 tons of diesel collided with vegetable oil tanker City-38 which was anchored at Padma jetty.
Following the accident, the port authorities seized the vessels, and handed those over to Bangladesh Coast Guard.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, CPA Secretary Omar Faruk said: “We have managed to collect 80-90% of the spilled oil. Hopefully, we will be able to collect the entire oil within today (Saturday).”
Captain Faridul Alam, deputy conservator of CPA, said: “Soon after the incident, we have formally informed all the concerned government agencies, including the Coast Guard, Department of Environment, and Shipping Ministry to take necessary actions regarding the accident.”
Until the filing of this report around 9pm Saturday, spilled oil was being collected from the river by several vessels including Chittagong Port’s Bay Cleaner-1, Bay Cleaner-2, Kandari-10, Kandari-11.
Sanjukta Das Gupta, assistant director of DoE (Chittagong Metro) said they have summoned the owners of the two vessels to attend a hearing at DoE office today.
'Oil spill into Karnaphuli happening regularly'
Eminent researcher Prof Dr Edris Ali said that oil spill into the river following collisions between vessels are happening regularly due to lack of monitoring by the authorities concerned.
"The oil slick will have a severe impact on the marine life. Due to the thick layer of oil, there will be a shortage of oxygen in the water,” said Dr Edris.
“There should have been a special taskforce to deal with such an emergency situation. However, we tend to swing into action following any accident. All the concerned government agencies should be well equipped to deal with such a situation," he said.
Besides, agencies like Department of Shipping, Coast Guard, and CPA should intensify monitoring to avert such accidents, he added.