- MANDATE 2019
- Coal an issue but people have faith in this Govt: Mauvin
Coal an issue but people have faith in this Govt: Mauvin
PANJIM: Admitting that coal is an issue for the Vasco residents, Panchayat minister Mauvin Godinho said that the people still have confidence in the BJP led government to solve the issue.
“Yes, coal is an issue this election but the people have confidence in us. They know the government has taken strong action by stopping coal handling through Goa State Pollution Control Board,” he said.
Asked what his individual stand on the issue is, Godinho, who is the BJP’s South Goa campaign chief, said the coal handling can continue provided all care is taken to avoid pollution.
“We want the port activity to continue but at the same time we are concerned about the environment and pollution. I have taken consistent stand that all port activities and handling has to go on but at the same time the anti pollution measures have to be very strong,” he said.
He stated that the government will speak to the MPT and the company handling coal about the anti-pollution measures.
“We have seen in Jaigad. Everything is inside a huge dome, so there is no question of coal going outside despite strong winds,” he stated adding this has been conveyed to MPT also.
Goa State Pollution Control Board recently renewed the consent to operate granted to South West Port Ltd, a unit of Jindal Steel Works, to handle 4.8 million tonnes of coal up to a wind speed of 30km/h, instead of 10km/h.
It has also allowed the company to handle limestone and steel slab. As per the consent, the board has asked SWPL to take precautionary measures with proportionate scaling down of operations when wind speed exceeds 28km/h.
It said “All operations should stop at a wind speed of 30km/h, as per the consent terms. However, the wind restrictions will not be applicable during the rainy season from June to September. The conditions are also not applicable for green/non-dusty cargo.”
On February 21, the pollution board had directed South West Port to stop operations if wind speed crosses 10km/h. After the representation from the public that there is coal pollution in the port town, the board had stopped the South West operation.