Environmental disaster set in motion in the Sunderbans

Environmental disaster set in motion in the Sunderbans

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The furnace oil that spilled in the Sundarbans’s Chandpai range from an oil tanker is gradually being absorbed in the ground leading to a reduction in the volume of the oil in the water, locals have said.
The oil spread over around 100 kilometres area six days after  the oil tanker capsized but the oil has reached the forests through canals and rivers due to the ebb and flow of tide and is being absorbed in rooting branches, leaves trees and the ground.It has been six days since the oil tanker capsized. Irrawaddy dolphins which was seen in the rivers before still remain invisible. Local people who earn their livelihood on fishing have told journalists that fishes and crabs are no longer available in the rivers and canals.
Kingfishers, some other species of wild birds Homestead poultry birds including ducks in the oil-spilled area have all dies in the last few days. Dead aninals including lizards are being found in the forests. Spilled oil have been pasted with plants and creepers of the forests on both sides of the rivers and canels with the rise and fall of time.
Not only the colour and the ordour of the water have changed, aquatic plants are dying. The trees and creepers pasted with oil look different and vulnerable and may die soon.
Some experts believe the aquatic animals like dolphins, crocodiles, crabs and tortoises have moved to pollution-free zones of the Sundarbans, and could face a range of problems because of this. But others say these animals might be fighting for live, because not only their habatats and spawning grounds have been polluted, the water and soil of the rivers on which they live have turned poisonous.
Environmentalists fear that an incalculable disaster has been set in motion by the oil spill caused by illegal plying of vessels including oil tankers through the Sunderbans rivers at night.  They have demanded unveiling the mystery that lay behind the accident.
Locals said they were frightened to think that the rivers and canals which were rich in fish resources were now without them, and did not know if the problem would come to an end with the return of the fishes.
The fishing communities, and farmers living along the rivers need urgent support to restart their life anew because the oil spill has not only deprieved of their daily income but alss destroyed valuable properties. – Staff Reporter

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