GSPCB refuses to grant permission to SWPL for ‘adjustment in coal handling’

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Panaji: With the coal handling at MPT, Vasco, becoming a sensitive issue due to pollution faced by residents, the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has refused to grant permission to South West Port Ltd (SWPL), a unit of Jindal Steel, for adjustment in the handling of coal.

The company had requested permission for adjustment in the handling of coal as it could not handle sufficient quantity during the monsoon season for four months, at the permitted capacity of 0.575 million metric tonne per month (MMTPM).

The company requested that it be allowed to make up for the loss by handling the unutilised quantity during the eight months of the non-monsoon season by handling 0.515 MMTPM against 0.4 MMTPM and maintaining the total annual capacity of 5.5 MMTPA. As per the company’s estimate, it lost out on handling 2.3 million tonne of coal during the four months of monsoon.

However, members of the board after deliberating on the issue and also going through the coal handled by the SWPL from April 2020 to October 2020, pointed out that, the unit was allowed to handle higher quantity (0.575 MMTPM) during the monsoon as ‘it would not have adverse effect on the pollution.’

Further, members also felt that since the source apportionment study by IIT is awaited it would not be prudent to permit SWPL to utilise the permitted capacity during the non-monsoon season.

GSPCB board members also decided to request South Central Railway to ensure dome (metallic cover) on the wagons used to transport coal in order to prevent spillage during transportation.

The board decided to ask Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) to take up the matter with the South Central Railway.