GSPCB unmoved by MPT’s financial crisis plea
Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB) on Friday rejected Mormugao Port Trust's (MPT) plea to allow coal and coke handling at berths 10 and 11, though the port claimed it was facing a financial crisis. MPT had requested GSPCB permission to unload a ship carrying coal at berths 10 and 11 under the board's strict monitoring.
"The board has rejected MPT's plea to unload one ship carrying coal at berths 10 and 11," GSPCB chairman Jose Manuel Noronha told TOI.
MPT has also applied for renewal of consent to operate under the Air and Water Acts at berths 10 and 11. GSPCB met MPT officials Friday and decided to renew the consent to operate with certain conditions.
"We will renew the consent to operate for MPT's berths 10 and 11 for handling of general cargo and containers but they cannot handle coal and coke," Noronha said, and added that the order will be issued on Monday.
There are around 58,000 metric tonnes of coal lying behind berths 10 and 11 and the area will be cleared by the end of December.
"After full evacuation of coal, the board will conduct ambient air quality monitoring in January and February," Noronha said, and added that based on these monitoring reports GSPCB will decide whether to allow coal and coke handling at MPT's berths 10 and 11.
At present around 6 million tonnes of coal and coke are handled by private players at berths 5A and 6A. MPT is likely to open a tender next week to privatize berth 11 for coal handling.
GSPCB in September had directed the port authorities to stop coal and coke handling operations at berths 10 and 11 saying that measures taken are not adequate to control pollution. The board later granted MPT conditional permission to lift coal and coke stacked behind the berths. [TOI]