Pollution board checking effects of oil spill in Satluj river

April 26th, 2009 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Ropar (Punjab), April 26 (IANS) The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has taken samples of water and plants from Satluj river in Punjab to evaluate the damage caused by a furnace oil spill after a thermal power plant pipeline burst two days ago, officials said here Sunday.
“We had sent our team of environmental engineers to evaluate the damage incurred due to leakage of oil into the Satluj water. We have collected the samples of water and plants to judge the exact damage,” Babu Ram, member secretary of PPCB, told IANS here Sunday.

Tonnes of heavy furnace oil had spilt Friday into the Ghanauli drain, which falls into Satluj river, following a burst in a pipeline of the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant here.

Ropar is 45 km from state capital Chandigarh.

The oil has also reportedly entered a nearby wetland posing a great threat to both aquatic flora and fauna.

“Right now it is difficult to tell the exact amount of oil in the water. From preliminary investigation it seems that some oil has leaked into Satluj but its exact amount will be ascertained only after proper examination,” Babu Ram said.

Sources in the thermal plant told IANS that the pipeline had already outlived its life and was due for major repair or replacement and such an incident was “bound to happen”.

A senior official of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), however, said it is difficult to prevent such incidents in big plants.

“Still a big tragedy has been averted and there has been very little loss of oil due to timely action of our employees,” he said.

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