The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) on Friday suspended all coking coal handling operations at Mormugao Port Trust owing to “deteriorating air quality” in Vasco in South Goa.
The order impacts South West Port Limited, a subsidiary of Jindal Steel and Adani, which imports coking coal at the port and transports it to its steel plants in north Karnataka. The order said that the operations had been suspended as heavy winds were carrying soot into residential areas.
Vasco has witnessed a series of protests from Opposition parties and residents over a period of time over health issues caused by the spread of coal soot.
The GSPCB has asked the coke handling company to list out the measures it proposes to take to control pollution. A hearing has been fixed for February 21.
The company, in its letter to the board, said measures were in place to ensure emission levels are within permissible limits. The port handles nearly seven million tonnes of coking coal a year. A request to double the firm’s handling capacity is pending with authorities.
Source: The Hindu
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