VASCO: Accusing the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) of highhandedness and scant regard for rules and regulations, the chairman of Mormugao Port Trust, Mr P Mara Pandiyan has written a letter to the Chief Secretary, Mr B Vijayan seeking an inquiry and appropriate action especially with regards to cancellation of three consecutive public hearings over construction of iron ore export terminal at MPT.
MPT had submitted a detailed environmental impact study report to the Goa State Pollution Control Board to construct an iron ore export terminal at MPT at a cost of Rs 1200 crore to be built on a public private partnership basis. The MPT had requested the GSPCB to hold public hearing over the project. However, all the three public hearings fixed by GSPCB – one on July 24, 2012, second on September 16, 2012 and third on November 25, 2012 were cancelled.
In his letter, Mr Pandiyan has said that all hearings were cancelled without any valid grounds. The three incidents are a classic case of flouting of rules and regulations on conduct of public hearing, the letter adds.
The letter further accused GSPCB of highhandedness regarding the coal operations at berth number 11 adding that the GSPCB stopped coal operations at the berth under the pretext of coal pollution. Mr Pandiyan further says that after stopping the coal operations, MPT sought GSPCB response about the reduction in coal pollution due to measures taken by it.
Mr Pandiyan however added that the GSPCB has responded stating that the matter will be technically and scientifically studied to find the baseline data on particulate matter once the entire coal and coke is evacuated.
"The simple question one would ask is that why was the coal operation stopped when the GSPCB does not have the baseline data. This shows they have been working without any kind of data at their disposal. The events narrated above clearly show the high handedness of the GSPCB and scant regard for rules and regulations," alleged Mr Pandiyan.