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BLACK ROSE: A SERIOUS THREAT TO PARAIP BEACH
Bibhuti Pati | 16 Oct 2009

The sunken Mongolian Vessel Black Rose triggered concern among fishermen, environmentalists and marine scientists. The sunken ship had an estimated 924.4 tonnes of furnace oil and 48 tonnes of diesel. The 24,000 metric tones of iron ore inside the Black R

 

The sunken Mongolian Vessel Black Rose triggered concern among fishermen, environmentalists and marine scientists. The Pardip Port Trust (PPT), which has no infrastructure to pump out oil from the wreck, has sought the help of national and international experts.
 
No representatives from Maritime Shipping Ltd. Singapore, which owns the vessel, has reached Paradip to help PPT. PPT officials said Mongolian ship Black Rose was not insured. “The ship’s captain had submitted forged insurance papers to anchor in Paradip port and transport iron ore to China,” PPT Deputy Chairman Biplav Kumar said. “We have urged to Maritime Shipping Ltd officials umpteen times to come to Paradip. But they did not pay any heed to us. We examined all the papers submitted by the Ship’s Captain,” Kumar added.
 
The sunken ship had an estimated 924.4 tonnes of furnace oil and 48 tonnes of diesel. Fear of fuel oil spill from the sunken ship is the prime concern now. The sunken ship area in the Bay of Bengal is situated near the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, the world’s largest rookery of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles. Locals also feared of fire mishap.
 
“Fishes have been found dead on the beach at Paradip following the oil spill from the Black Rose. We found many dead fishes on the beach. These fishes had died of asphyxiation due to the oil spill,” said P K Rout Asst. Director of Maine Fisheries department. However PPT officials say there have been no major oil spill and no immediate risk of an ecological disaster. But the State and Marine Fisheries Department, State Pollution control Board, environmentalists and Marine Scientists said an undetermined amount of oil has already leaked into the waters and it will bring huge environmental disasters. Areas surrounding the spill site have the largest mating colony of Horseshoe Crabs.
 
“The 24,000 metric tones of iron ore inside the Black Rose is a great ecological disaster for the marine flora and fauna. It is not possible to get the ore out of the ship. It will affect dolphins, sea birds, drill, algae and plankton colonies seriously,” says the marine scientist Prof S K Dutta.  
 
In the meantime a six member expert Central team from the Shipping Ministry headed by Chairman of National Shipping Board P V K Mohan inspects the site. Mr. Mohan says, “We have recommended the Centre not to allow vessels of more than 25 years old into harbours. The ship was about 32 years old and carrying forged documents.”
 
The PPT authorities decided to seek expertise of international firms to pump out fuel from Black Rose. Indian Technology unavailable for taking the oil out. The Port officials decided to hire experts who have under water technology to plug such leakage.
 
Oil spill apart, Black Rose is a serious threat to the erosion prone Pradip beach. Though the port authority has in the meanwhile engaged a firm to plug the leakages, but the work has not made much headway due to bad weather condition. According to the weather forecasts the bad weather will continue for another 15 days.
 
Keen Environmentalist and the secretary of wild life society Orissa Biswajit Mohanty says, “However apprehend the ship would continue to pose danger to Paradip marine area even after eviction of oil. He says the place where the 37,657DWT vessel ( leangth 187.73 meter, beam 28.4 meter, draft 10.8 meter) sank falls on the natural sea current route. After the end of monsoon this month, the sea currents in the Orissa coasts will change direction and shall move from South to North bringing about deposition of sediment. Due to huge artificial obstruction caused by this large ship, the sea current pattern shall be disrupted this season leading to erosion of beaches at turtle nesting grounds.” The Pardip beach areas are highly sensitive for sea erosion.
 
Submerged Black Rose near Paradip beaches are known to cause massive beach erosion. The bright example is Cargo Carrier ‘Princess’ June 2000. It had created massive beach erosion leading to demands by locals for removal of the wreck. The National Institute of Oceanography had conducted an assessment study to study the impacts and found that the local beach had indeed eroded due to the presence of the grounded cargo ship.