09 Jun 2023  |   08:10am IST

Social activists fume over Centre’s decision to let JSW double coal handling capacity

O Heraldo had reported on Thursday how the clearances were granted by overriding GSPCB objections
Social activists fume over Centre’s decision to let JSW double coal handling capacity

Team Herald

PANJIM: Social activists are furious after O Heraldo on Thursday highlighted clearances given by the Centre to the South West Port Limited (SWPL), acquired by the JSW group in 2022, to enhance its coal handling capacity at Mormugao Port, despite objections raised by Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB). 

Overriding the GSPCB objections, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) allowed JSW, a mammoth corporate, to enhance coal handling operations from the existing 7.5 million metric tonnes to 15 million metric tonnes per annum.

Reacting to this development, social activist Xencor Polji questioned the basis on which government gave permission and the Environment Clearance to JSW for enhanced coal handling.

“Goa is a tiny State with a fragile ecology. The Centre has allowed handling of 15-20 million tonnes of coal. Is it trying to make Goa into a coal hub? Already, our rivers have been nationalised. There is coal pollution in the rivers. The GSPCB is not taking note of it,” Polji said.

“Our rivers are having rare species. The government is out to destroy them. We want a public hearing. Previously there was a public hearing, but its outcome is not known. There’s nobody monitoring the coal handling,” Polji said.

He questioned the govt on the action that it has taken on the number of complaints on coal handling. 

“You are handling coal due to your proximity with Centre. The entire coal handling process is illegal and the Mormugao Port Authority is responsible for this,” he added.

Social activist Parshuram Sonurlekar alleged that private coal handling companies Adani and JSW have to pay Rs 200-300 crore to the MPA, which has not been done yet.

“The government is not getting any revenue. They have given consent to JSW keeping an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. We don’t want an inch of coal pollution in the port town. If there is any coal pollution, the Mormugao MLA would be held responsible for it and has to resign,” Sonurlekar said.


Iddhar Udhar