GSPCB study finds particulate matter consistently high at berth 5A-6A where MPT has proposed increase in coal handling and Berth 7; Mapusa, Vasco, Ponda, Panjim and Cuncolim industrial estates also have high pollution
PANJIM: Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), currently facing the wrath of people over its proposed enhancement of coal handling facilities, is the most polluted zone in Goa with activities like coal handling, truck movement and ship and train emission the major reasons for pollution.
Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) in its annual report 2016-17, released on Monday, World Environment Day, points out that MPT is most polluted compared to other towns and even mining areas.
As per the ambient air quality monitoring data installed at various locations, the parameters PM10 (particulate matter of 10 microns diametre) and PM2.5 are much above the permissible limit at MPT-Vasco. The PM10, which needs to be 60pg/m3 is as high as 126.2pg/m3. Similarly, the PM2.5 is 55.7pg/m3 that is above the permissible limit of 40pg/m3.
Interestingly, particulate matter was found to be more or less consistently high in MPT with highest AAQM (air ambient quality monitoring) levels at Berth 5A-6A (JSW) – where MPT has proposed increase in coal handling facility and Berth 7 (AMPTPL).
The parameters are high from mid-October to the beginning of March. “The study initiated for compliance status of the Board issued consent conditions and establish the AAQM trends in and around MPT indicated that AAQM standard for monitoring as per Environment Protection Rules 1968 as amended were exceeding, in violation of the standards,” the report stated.
The report states that most of the locations monitored within MPT showed more than 45 percent exceeding on the days of monitoring, especially PM10 and in November (2016) exceeding almost 80 percent.
“The highest impact observed was at a residential location in Khariwada and in Vasco near municipality
and to a lesser degree at lower jetty,” the report added.
The Board stated that the activities like stocking and loading and unloading of coal, coke, woodchips, bauxite, ore dumps, truck movement and train and ship emission as possible contributors for pollution.
Taking into consideration all this, the Board has asked MPT, Jindal South West Port Limited and Adani Pvt Ltd to further streamline their coal/ore and woodchip handling activities by taking into consideration best available technology (BAT) or good international industry (GII).
Other areas with high pollution are Mapusa, Vasco, Ponda, Panjim and Cuncolim industrial estate.