Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday said the state government has taken a stand that it does not want coal in Goa.
Addressing the media at the Secretariat, the minister said, “We don’t want coal in Goa. It is the stand of the government. However, there is a process involved in stopping the entire coal handling at the Mormugao Port Trust. So at this stage, it is difficult to tell how long it will take to stop the coal from coming to Goa,” he said.
The Environment Minister also said the report prepared by the consultant under Sagarmala project has predicted that 134 metric tonne of coal can be handled in Goa, which has been refused by the state government.
Cabral said the preliminary inquiry conducted by the Goa State Pollution Control Board into the particles found at Keri beach in Pernem has revealed that the particles were of charcoal and not coal. “Thus, the claim made by a so-called environmentalist that coal has been found at Keri beach is completely false. A person who has been claiming to be an environmentalist, making such false claims and misguiding the people is a serious matter,” he said.
Cabral said the chemical analysis of the said charcoal to assess the route of its origin will be completed in the next four days. He said the particles found on the Benaulim beach were of tar balls and not coal.
Cabral said he will submit a report on this incident to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to take further action on it, as such claim by a so-called environmentalist is a serious issue, as it amounts to misleading the people.