Coal destroying aquatic life of Goa: Congress

The Congress on Friday alleged that Goa government is using the Mooring Dolphin berth at the MPT for coal handling, instead of tourism activities, thus creating pollution and destroying aquatic life.

Congress leaders met Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) Chairman Mahesh Patil and raised concern about pollution taking place while handling coal at the MPT in Vasco and demanded a joint inspection.

According to the Congress leaders, 10 per cent of coal spillage happens while handling it and all this settles in sea destroying aquatic life.

Deputy Congress Legislature Party leader and Mormugao MLA Sankalp Amonkar claimed that companies handling the coal at Mooring Dolphin berth are violating norms. “Despite there being a limit of handling only 1 lakh metric tonne per month, more than that is handled here. Because of this, the sea is getting polluted due to spillage of coal and aquatic life is destroyed,” he alleged.

He said that the berth was constructed to promote tourism activities, but now has been turned into coal handling, and held the GSPCB responsible for the alleged illegal operations taking place.

“People have faith that only the Pollution Control Board can protect our Goa, but now as this office has permitted handling of coal, pollution is happening everywhere,” he said.

Congress Working President Yuri Alemao said that coal pollution is affecting the health of people. “Permission given to handle this coal should be revoked. Pollution Control Board should carry out inspections,” he said.

He also claimed charged that companies are handling more coal than the permitted volume.

Earlier last month, the Congress had threatened to launch mass agitation to stop coal operation at the MPT, claiming it is polluting the surrounding and peoples life is in danger.

Talking to IANS, GSPCB chief Patil said that Congress leaders have complained about the coal pollution happening during the coal handling, which will be inspected.

“We have asked the companies to use transhipper vessels for handling coal, so minimum spillage takes place. If they are found violating our condition then we will immediately stop the operations and close it,” he said.

He said that coal handling up to 1 lakh metric tonne per month is permitted at Mooring Dolphin berth during monsoon (up to October). “It is either 1 lakh metric tonne of coal or two shipments within permitted volume,” he said.

“This specific condition has been put to Mooring Dolphin berth. After monsoon, we don’t give them permission as there are more chances of coal spillage,” he said.

He said that if required joint inspection will be done. “We get a report from the MPT… if any company exceeds the limit of handling coal, we will monitor it,” he said.

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