Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog 5 - Oil Spill Creating Hazard for Fishing in India

Oil Spill Creates Hazard for Fishing

Oil spills from a gas and electricity pipeline in the Uran region of India makes it very difficult to fish.  Fishermen have reported that when they go out to fish, they come back with an all dead catch.  These families are living on $10 to $30 a day and when one has six children to feed, not having food is a problem.

The problem is being addressed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests ordered the pipeline to be shut down and the spill cleaned up.

This is not the first time oil spills have disrupted local fishing.  In 2010, two ships spilled 800 tons of oil into the Arabian Sea as well as other ships and pipelines.

Of course, a spokesman for the company said that this spill was small and could be dealt with easily.  With the damage of the fish, they knew they were not going to get compensation for the destruction of their livlyhoods in previous cases, but this time they did.

This is a big issue regarding inequality as well as the environment.  Mr. Gharat says this about the company's role in the issue.  "  I knew the company would try to play this down because they are worried about their reputation.  They have the money to build more plants but not fix a pipeline that keeps dumping oil in the sea.  The only people who lose out in this situation are the poor."

In many cases that is true.  Big companies will come and, often first off destroying the livlyhoods of poor poeple to begin with because the  company thinks that the poor are less likely to fight back.  That does happen, but when the people fight back, that is when things change.  It is good that these people are fighting for their rights becuase they do have them.  In the eyes of these giant companies, often these poor people are not even worth their concern, they just throw them away to gain an extra dollar.

I commend these people for fighting back.  The company says it will consider compensation claims, but that has not been decided yet.

Oct 11th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Lillian Brown

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