The merchant vessel Wisdom, which was refloated on Saturday after being grounded at Juhu beach for more than 20 days, has not caused any environmental damage. According to officials from the state pollution control board, the oil content found in the samples of water around the ship, which was carrying four tones of oil, was negligible.
On June 27, a km-long oil slick was found on the coast, following which police cordoned off the entire stretch. “But that had nothing to do with the ship, which had very little oil since it and was headed for dismantling. There were no hazardous chemicals in vessel,” said YB Sontake, regional officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.
After 3 failed attempts to refloat the cargo ship, it was finally towed away on Saturday.
Scientists also said there was no chance of seabed erosion, even though the 9,900 tonne ship was stranded for 20 days. “The tidal activity will not allow erosion in such a short time frame. While there is erosion during a tidal wave, there is also a reverse phenomena in the form of siltation,” said SN Gajbhiye, in-charge of the National Institute of Oceanography, Mumbai.
On June 11, the cargo vessel bound for the Alang shipbreaking yard broke from its tug and drifted towards the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. However, it finally ran aground off the Juhu beach.
Hindustan Times. 5 July 2001