Goa port suspends coking coal handling due to air pollution

Pollution

Panaji, Feb 16. The state
pollution authority
has temporarily suspended all coking coal handling
operations at Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust, due to “deteriorating air
quality
” at the port town of Vasco, located 35 km from Panaji.

Goa State Pollution Control Baord‘s order
on Friday impacts JSW Steel, which operates a subsidiary South West Port
Limited, which imports coking coal at the state’s only major port, and
transports it to its steel plants in north Karnataka, where the coal is used to
fuel blast furnaces.

The suspension order cum show cause notice issued by the Chairman of
the Goa State Pollution Control Board, Ganesh Shetgaonkar said that coal
handling operations have been suspended due to windy conditions, which leads to
soot being transported into residential areas in the port town.

The temporary suspension order comes at a time when the port town has
seen a series of protests from Opposition parties as well as local residents,
who have complained of health issues due to pollution caused by coal soot.

The order has also sought an explanation from the coke handling company
on measures it proposes to take for controlling pollution by February 21.

The Mormugao Port Trust annually handles nearly seven million tons of
coking coal, even as the port authority has sought for doubling of the coal
handling capacity to 14 million
tons.

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