Sundarbans fertiliser spilling vessel still stranded

Though a day has passed, the vessel that spilled 300 tonnes of chemical fertiliser through the water bodies of the Sundarbans is yet to be rescued.

Despite concern from experts, government officials have ruled out possibility that the fertiliser spilled will be harmful.

Months after the oil spill in the world’s largest mangrove forest drew widespread flack, another vessel spilled fertiliser along Mor Bhola River yesterday.

–          Two probe committees formed

–          Govt official says no harmful effect

–          General diary filed

–          Top officials visit site

Sundarbans forest reservation department has lodged a general diary with Sharankhola police, reports our Bagerhat correspondent quoting unit’s head Sunil Kumar Kundu.

Rescue work was yet to begin until 2:00pm today after MV Java Lemur’s bottom cracked yesterday, spilling the fertiliser it held, trying to plough through a shallow region.

Fertilser being spilled following trawler capsize in the Sundarbans. Photo Star

Forest department formed a probe body with east division officer Amir Hussain Chowdhury at the lead, Kundu told the media. “They will report by three working days.”

Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Md Jahangir Alam accompanied Sunil Kundu, Amir Hussain Chowdhury and Agricultural Extension Department’s local unit Deputy Director Joynul Abedin and visited the site this morning.

The local government formed another probe committee with an additional commissioner in the lead which will report by three days, Jahangir Alam said.

Though the fertilisers are seeping through to river waters and spreading every minute, Agricultural Extension Department official Joynul Abedin said it will not be harmful.

“This fertiliser is widely used in agriculture – farming and fish farming. Therefore, this fertiliser will not be harmful for the environment or the marine life,” he said.

On the other hand, Khulna University Environment Science department’s Professor Dr Dillip Dutta urged serious attention to the matter.

“It is a chemical agent which can have devastating consequences. Sundarbans is a sensitive region. The matter should be taken seriously and be tackled with full capacity.”

Source: The Daily Star

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