The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) told Dawn.com on Friday that the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has sent boats and equipment for a cleanup operation along the Mubarak Village-Churna Island coastal belt which has been affected by an oil spill from an underground pipeline.
Assistant Director of PDMA Ajay Kumar Sewani said that the area fell under the jurisdiction of the PMSA.
After the oil spill polluted the stretch of the Sindh-Balochistan coastal belt, the Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency (BEPA) had on Thursday ordered Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL) to halt its operations.
A notification was issued in this regard by the provincial environment agency to BPPL warning that if operations continued, severe damage would be inflicted on marine life.
In a disclosure of material information addressed to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday, Byco Company Secretary Majid Muaqtadir said: "Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited continues to operate its crude oil refineries. Certain reports on media suggest that an oil spill has taken place near Mubarak Village in Balochistan and attribute this to a nearby oil refinery or other unknown source".
The statement said that no leak or loss of contaminant had taken place from BPPL's installations and stated, "all such reports purporting to the contrary are totally baseless, false, irresponsible and misleading".
It added that BEPA and PMSA had both confirmed that there is "no oil spill from Byco's Single Point Mooring (SPM) or pipeline".
The BEPA on Friday also placed a temporary ban on all tour operators at Charna Island who were operating without no-objection certificates (NOC).
The order stated that these operators had not submitted an environmental management plan and added that the Regional Environmental Protection Agency office at Hub would facilitate the registration process.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the pollution caused by the oil spill, and instructed the fisheries and environmental department to contact concerned federal departments and submit their reports.
The CM also directed them to report the damage caused to aquatic life due to the incident.