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- Owners worry over keeping barges loaded
Owners worry over keeping barges loaded
Say loaded barges at sea face high risk; Say they respect High Court order rejecting plea for ore transportation
VASCO: The Goa Barge Owners Association (GBOA) on Friday said that keeping loaded barges at sea would not only face high risk but would also be an added financial loss to the barge owners.
However, the GBOA said that it does respect the High Court order rejecting the pleas of mining companies seeking modification in the court’s order that would allow ore transportation.
In a statement issued to the media through recorded video sent on WhatsApp, GBOA President Raymond De Sa said, “We respect the order of the High Court, but we also want to clarify that the ore that we have been transporting is a legal ore. The permission to transport the ore was given by the Department of Mines & Geology (DMG).”
He further clarified that, “After mining operations recommenced in the State, we have been duly following a new well programmed system that was introduced by the DMG. Under the new system, a trip/log sheet is opened at the time of loading of our barges or trucks and once the loading completes the log sheet gets closed. Until the log sheet is closed we cannot move our barges from the loading jetty. Now whatever ore we have transported is only the cargo for which DMG gave its due approval. Even the last order of the HC clearly had allowed the companies to supply cargo to ships to complete the export order and then to stop mining operations but now status quo has been maintained and our barges and trucks which are already loaded with ore cargo are standstill,” De Sa said.
He said that there are about 55 to 60 barges with load and it is a very big risk for them to keep the barges with load. “We don’t know when the HC will come out with the order to discharge these barges. As it is the weather is bad and under such situation when any two barges are anchored adjacent to each other there are high possibilities that these barges could dash against each other then the same would damage the barge and high chances for the barges to sink. If this happens then who will take responsibility,” he added.
“There is pressure on truck and barge owners. We are in the water and we can’t save our barges if any untoward thing happens in the water. We respect the HC order but we are worried because our barges are in the waters. The court could have given some relaxations for loaded barges and trucks to discharge the cargo. It was also the duty of the government to intervene and appeal to the court seeking relaxations for loaded barges and trucks,” De Sa stated.