The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cleared nearly six metric tonnes of waste from Juhu Beach, following what appeared to be an oil spill on Thursday.
Videos and stills of the incident went viral on social media on Thursday. One of the videos showed dead jelly fish on the beach, another image showed a snake stuck in the sand, along with solid waste like plastic and paper. The waves seemed to deposit dark sediment as they lashed the shore.
According to officials of the solid waste management (SWM) department, the spill was spread over a 5-kilometre stretch on the beach and was first spotted by clean-up workers at the beach around 11am on Thursday. On noticing the change in colour of the water, the local ward office was notified, following which a clean-up drive was started.
“We had to deploy additional labourers for the clean-up and they cleared out six metric tonnes of waste,” said a senior SWM official.
The official said that a similar incident had been reported at Juhu Beach earlier, on June 15.
“We are yet to identify the source of the spill, but we believe that the oil must have been discharged from the fishing vessels anchored in the water,” the official said.
Aneesh Naval Makwani, local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from Juhu said that the Mumbai Maritime Board (MMB) has been informed so that it can investigate. “The spill was spread over a wide area and additional labourers and JCB vans had to be deployed for the clean-up operations on Thursday,” Makwani told the FPJ.
Stalin Dayanand, environmentalist and director of the NGO Vanashakti said that oil spills have become a regular occurrence at Mumbai’s beaches during monsoon.
“During monsoon, servicing and repair works of the ships and vessels are carried out by anchoring them in the shallow waters. In the process, petrol and solid waste are discharged into the sea and oil spills occur,” Stalin told the FPJ.
“The MMB needs to take action as these incidents have become a regular occurrence now. These oil spills are dangerous as they affect marine ecology,” he said.