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THE GOA State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and South West Port Ltd (SWPL) for handling coal in excess of consented capacity, according to officials.
The GSPCB filed the complaint before the Court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class at Vasco da Gama against JSW Group’s SWPL and its officials under various sections of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981pertaining to restrictions on use of industrial plants without the board’s consent.
In October, during an investigation into health hazards posed by the transport of coal across Goa, The Indian Express had reported that SWPL has been exceeding its import capacity since 2012, getting 10.11 million tonnes in 2016-2017 alone, against an awarded consent of 5.48 million tonnes. The GSPCB had earlier reduced SWPL’s permitted capacity by 25 per cent, to 4.125 million tonnes annually.
The pollution watchdog had also issued a show-cause notice to SWPL in November, threatening to revoke its ‘consent to operate’ for exceeding the quantity of coal the company was allowed to handle at Mormugao port. JSW has now been given a further two weeks to respond.
In its criminal complaint, the board stated that officers of SWPL and MPT be “tried and punished for violating the conditions of Consent issued by the Board”.
Port officials were not available for a comment. JSW did not respond to an email from The Indian Express seeking comment.