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GSPCB notices to MPT, Adani, Jindal on coal pollution

GSPCB notices to MPT, Adani, Jindal on coal pollution

The Herald, Panjim, 24th December, 2015

PANJIM: Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and its coal handling terminal Adani and Jindal have come under the scanner for increasing pollution in Vasco, with Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) issuing show cause notice to all three asking “why the consent to operate should not be revoked or rejected for causing environmental pollution”.

In three different show cause notices issued to MPT (berth No 9), Adani Mormugao Port Terminal Private Limited (berth No 7) and South West Port limited – Jindal (berth No 5 and 6), the GSPCB has slammed them for violating the pollution norms as mentioned in the Consent to Operate granted for operational cum handling of coal facilities.

“The show cause notices have been issued, after it was revealed that the coal handling terminals Adani and Jindal and MPT failed to take necessary measures to control coal pollution in the vicinity. The ambient air quality data is far above the permissible limit,” GSPCB chairman Jose Manuel Noronha told Herald.

The notices served under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, are answerable by December 29, wherein the authorities have to remain present in person. While in case of Adani and Jindal, the consents were renewed in April 2015, MPT has applied for renewal of consent to operate in October, which is yet to be granted.

Environment Minister Rajendra Arlekar during his recent visit at MPT had criticised the coal handling facilities for causing pollution, directing the authorities to initiate necessary action.

In all three cases, the Board observed that on 14 out of 24 occasions, the air pollution was found to be above the permissible limit. “On consideration of the observation, the Board has decided to direct you to implement certain pollution control measures and also show cause as to why the consent to operate granted to you be not revoked or rejected for operating the unit in violation of Air Pollution Act,” the show cause notice reads.

In a series of directions, the Board has asked Adani to ensure that loading of trucks should be done through truck loading system, coal stack should not be more than 5mtrs, water sprinkling be carried out, coal should be covered with tarpaulin, etc.

Jindal has been directed to ensure that the coal stack should not be more than nine metres high, the coal is covered with tarpaulin and sprinkling takes place. MPT has been asked to monitor the transportation of coal within the town, handling of cargo on other berths and to conduct a source appointment study along with air/wind modeling studies in the air.

All three have been asked to continuously monitor the ambient air quality of the facility and the surrounding areas.