Mumbai: After Cuffe Parade, tar balls resurface on Juhu beach

Deposit of tar along Juhu beach, which started in June, has continued for the last three months.

Tar balls — dark-coloured sticky balls of oil — were once again found in large quantities on Juhu beach Tuesday morning. This comes after they were found strewn on Cuffe Parade Monday morning. The Dadar beach has also been affected by the menace, prompting the fishermen from these areas to raise complaints with the authorities.

Deposit of tar along Juhu beach, which started in June this year, has been affecting the beach for the last three months.

Devendra Tandel, president of Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kruti Samiti, who alerted the civic body of the tar balls on Cuffe Parade, said, “During monsoon, fishermen from Palghar in Vasai complained of oil deposits on the shore. However, this year, it was seen at Cuffe Parade as well. Due to the ongoing Ganpati festival, the authorities responded to our complaints immediately.”

After the onset of monsoon, residents and environmentalists repeatedly witnessed the deposits reaching even Chimbai and Vasai shorelines. Deposits are repeatedly found on Juhu and Versova beaches located in the western suburbs of the city.

While tar deposits along Juhu beach during high tides are common during the monsoon, experts said the volume was unusually huge and widespread this year.

After the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) was alerted about a large number of tar balls, it collected samples of the deposits from the Juhu beach earlier this month. The samples will be tested for pollutants.

To raise awareness and get authorities to notice the environmental problem, the director of Coastal Conservation Foundation, Shaunak Modi, who has been documenting the tar ball occurrences since 2018 at Juhu beach, has appealed to the people to document the occurrence across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

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