Margao: Ammonia trucks of 20MT capacity and 45 feet length are passing through Vasco city during peak hours.
These trucks which are meant for long distance interstate transportation are used to transport ammonia from the Storage tank at MPT to the ZACL in Sancoale.
These trucks pose a risk especially during peak hours when children are travelling to school. Any disaster during peak hour traffic would make it impossible for emergency services to reach the site and will result in a greater number of casualties.
Due to the risk posed by the tankers, Damodar Divkar, a resident of Vasco had sent an email on September 7 to the Collector of South Goa and the Mormugao Port Trust to initiate an inquiry and take strict action. He stated that no permission from Goa disaster management team or any other local authority has been taken. “These are a big safety risk for Vasco people and will also cause a lot of Traffic congestion”, he stated in his complaint. After 12 days, Divkar is still waiting for the authorities to stop these ammonia tankers from plying through the city
In June, Divkar had requested for information about the ammonia storage tank in MPT regarding its fitness and structural integrity. Curiously, MPT rejected the RTI application stating that it is third party information without even asking ZACL for their consent. According to Divkar, the parties involved may be trying to hide the safety risks regarding the ammonia storage and transportation.
Edwin Mascarenhas, an activist who lives next to Chicalim Circle expressed his concern about these tankers plying along the Vasco-Chicalim-Airport road.
“The municipality, RTO and Deputy collector has turned a blind eye to this hazard. They should stop all hazard and vehicles from entering the city during peak hours in the morning, afternoon and evening,” he said. He also pointed out that the ammonia tankers do not have any cautionary signboard at the back of the vehicle stating what is carrying, the quantity and what to do in an emergency. [H]