An oil spill on Sunday along the Ennore coast, near Chennai, has left a thick layer of slick along the Chennai coast line and has polluted several beaches in the vicinity. This happened after two ships collided near the Ennore port.
Chennai's iconic Marina beach, that hosted thousands during the Jallikattu protests, is now covered in oil.
Nochikuppam resident and morning walker Anusya Parasuraman told The Hindu, "In many places people were playing in the water despite the blackish oil floating around. Several fishermen from Nochikuppam, who landed their boats after fishing trips, said there was a strong smell of oil in the sea."
The fishermen community has also been severely affected because of the oil spill and have demanded action as soon as possible.
NDTV quoted a fisherman as saying, "The net does not get into the water as the oil floats on the surface. How do we catch fish."
The news channel also reported that because of the spill, fewer people are buying fish, affecting the fishermen's business.
Experts are scared that this spill will affect the ecological environment in the region. Many turtles have also reportedly died because of the oil spill.
Another report in The Hindusaid that many dead turtles and hatchlings covered in the black oil had washed ashore.
Environment activist Nityanand Jayaraman told The News Minute, "The impact on the environment, health and the livelihood are closely connected. It should have been contained almost immediately. Otherwise it becomes impossible to contain the spill as the slick moves to the shore and to deeper sea."
Despite this huge emergency, the cleaning up process is not progressing as it should have. The Times of India reports that teams of the Indian Coast Guard had only been able to clear a fraction of the spill with the help of 25 litre buckets.
The report suggested that further help would arrive from Delhi on Tuesday.
While a Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board official told Deccan Herald that a report had been ordered to see how much damage the spill had caused, the newspaper quoted an Indian Coast Guard official as saying, "We have already done an aerial survey. It was reported that a thin oil slick was seen along the coast."
And while the situation worsens,The New Indian Express reported minister Pon Radhakrishnan as saying that he had visited the coastal area and he did not see any oil spill.