HC admits PIL over ban on coal handling at Goa port

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Panaji, July 25 (IANS) The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court has issued notices to Mormugao Port Trust, South West Port Ltd (SWPL), Adani Mormugao Port Terminal, Vedanta and others following a public interest litigation filed by NGOs from the port town of Vasco seeking stoppage of coal handling facilities at the port.

The bench comprising Justices N.M. Jamdar and Prithviraj K. Chavan, directed the respondents to file their replies. It posted the matter to August 20, Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation, a leading green NGO in the state, said on Wednesday.

“The PIL has been filed together with an application for staying the operation of the consent order of the Goa State Pollution Control Board dated July 6, which has granted SWPL permission to resume coal handling at the port,” Alvares said.

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The petitioners have sought court direction to ban coal operations during night time hours; phasing out of all open (as opposed to closed) handling of coal with effect from October 1; a ban on movement of coal through trucks through Vasco city and a ban on open stacking of coal coke at berths and stack yards from October 1.

The row over coal pollution erupted in Goa after the Mormugao Port Trust, the state’s only major port, sought permission from the Union Environment Ministry for redevelopment and expansion of four berths at the port.

–IANS

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