Tar balls resurfaced on the Benaulim and Colva beaches on Tuesday making it the third incident in the current month and severely denting the theory that they appear due to the change in ocean currents during monsoons.
Ironically, though the authorities had constituted three different studies in the phenomenon when it occurred last year. The Goa government had asked National Institute of Oceanography to fingerprint the tar balls in a bid to identify the rogue vessel cleaning its tank in the high seas.
However, as NIO was given on the sampled found on the beaches and had to access to samples of oil carried by the vessels in the high sea, the study could not be completed and hence remained incomplete.
Environment Minister Aleixo Sequeira while reiterating that the tar balls are a result of oil tankers cleaning their tanks in the high sea and therefore reiterated that there was a need to identify these vessels.
He also disclosed that the reports from National Energy Research Institute and Central Pollution Control Board that were asked to study the phenomenon last year, is still awaited though they had taken samples of the tar balls with them.
Meanwhile, the District Administration has alerted the Tourism Department about the recurrence of the tar balls and vide an official letter dated 20th April, Deputy Collector, Salcete had asked the tourism department to put in place mechanism to clean the beaches.
However, the department is yet to act on this letter as was evident on Tuesday at Colva beach where the shack owners engaged labourers to clean the beaches as nobody from the administration had bothered to even visit the site leave alone commencing the cleaning operations.