PANJIM: In a major development, Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has allowed coal handling on a trial basis at the mooring dolphin – the offshore cargo handling facility of Mormugao Port Trust (MPT). Coal activities are currently permitted at the Jindal and Adani operated berths of the port.
GSPCB, at its board meeting held on May 8, has resolved to allow MPT on a trial basis to utilise mooring dolphin No 1 up to May 31, 2019 and mooring dolphin No 3 up to June 15, 2019 to handle two cargo vessels of coal/coke.
The Board has decided to grant consent to operate to the facility under Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act and Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act.
The permission has been granted after going through a study conducted on coal handling at mooring dolphin from No 1 to 6 by Prof Manjare of BITS Pilani, Goa.
As per the minutes of the meeting, the Board has decided to install Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) at the site and the Board officials would be deployed to monitor the process.
The Board, in 2018, had suspended the operation of the mooring facility as it was operational without the consent of the Board under the Air and Water Acts.
“The cargo handling operations can be carried out at wind velocities up to 8m/s and all material handling should be stopped at wind velocity beyond 8m/s,” the Board said.
MPT has been directed to ensure that coal particles do not reach the town leading to pollution. It has also said that cargo handling activities can be carried out at release height of the material between two metres to three metres and that the moisture content of the material should be kept on the higher side to ensure suppression of particles.
The mooring dolphin facility has been operational since 2003 without obtaining the required consent. The Board at its meeting in January 2018 had observed that the facility is one of the major contributors of the high level of pollution in Vasco. The facility had handled 0.38 million tonnes of coal in 2016-17.