Capacity of a protected natural harbour
Since 2001-02, Goa’s Mormugao port has tripled its coal and coke-carrying capacities, causing disastrous impact on the air quality, explains Gerard De Souza.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has often said he would not allow further expansion of existing coal handling facilities at Mormugao Port, a protected natural harbour in the state. He will now have to eat his words. The minutes of the 26th meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which was held on December 14-15, 2017, tell an altogether different story. The Ministry has recommended granting environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances for the expansion of coal handling at Mormugao Port by South West Port Limited (SWPL), a company owned by steel and infrastructure giant JSW. The minutes of the meeting, which were uploaded on the ministry's website on January 1, 2018, says "The EAC, on being satisfied with the submissions of the project proponent in response to its observations, recommended the project for grant of environmental and CRZ clearance."