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Pollution board pulls up MPT for coal handling operations
August 30, 2012
PANJIM: The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) in a stringent order has issued a show cause notice to the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) warning it to shut down their coal handling operations for failing to adhere to the board’s directives.
GSPCB Member Secretary Levinson Martins has, in an order issued on Wednesday, asked MPT
to show cause why the order of consent to operate as issued to it by the GSPCB under the Air Act and the Water Act should not be revoked and as to why legal action as stipulated under the act should not be initiated against the management of the port for carrying out coal handling by violating directives.
The coal which is being handled by MPT at its berth numbers 10 and 11 has been allegedly causing severe air pollution in Vasco town and the surrounding vicinity evoking the ire of citizens over a long period of time.
Martins has asked the MPT management to be present before the GSPCB chairman on September 11 along with all relevant documents and data including information pertaining to the amount of coal and dusty cargo being handled by the MPT at both berths per month.
The Pollution Control Board during its inspection on June 25, 2012 had observed that trucks transporting coal within the premises of the MPT were not covered with tarpaulin. Water sprinkling was also not being done within the berth area.
It also observed that water sprinklers were not installed at one end of the coal stockyard and the stocked piles of coal at the stackyard at both berths were partly covered with tarpaulin sheets.
Martins has said that due to inadequate pollution control measures being implemented by the MPT, the concentration levels of particulate matter in the air far exceed the permissible limits on various occasions during the course of ambient air quality monitoring conducted by the board.
The board has also observed that MPT has not installed continuous ambient air quality monitoring station according to the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines till date.
The notice also observes that the pollution control measures as directed by the board and the High Court of Bombay through its judgment dated February 24, 2012 has not been implemented by the port authorities thereby causing environmental degradation and adverse impact on the health of residents of the vicinity.