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GRE submits memo to Collector; seeks action against MPT official

Margao: Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) general secretary Olencio Simoes on Monday submitted a memorandum to the South Goa Collector Dr Tariq Thomas seeking action against the MPT Chief Engineer for providing misleading information by giving a written declaration taking ownership of the EIA report.

Simoes along with members of GRE, Baina Ramponkars, Fishing Canoe Owners’ Society, Old Cross Canoe Association Owners’ Co-operative Society Ltd and Desterro Fishermen’s Association visited the Collector’s office.

Simoes alleged that Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) has violated Terms of Reference (ToR) which was granted on May 8, 2017 for the proposed cargo berth project.

Simoes explained to the Collector that the ToR is issued first and then the baseline monitoring program of the air, water etc should commence. But here the MPT has established marine water qualities, marine sediment quality, soil quality, air quality, groundwater and surface water quality and noise level in the study area much before the ToR, which is a blatant violation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006.

Simoes informed the Collector that the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has not yet finalized the Goa Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) as per NGT order of November 22, 2017 and as per the NGT directives no EC or CRZ clearance can be obtained until the CZMP is complete.

Custodio D’Souza, President of Old Cross Canoe Association Owners’ Co-operative Society Ltd informed the Collector that MPT had taken a decision some years ago to regularise its houses in Khariwado along Vasco beach.

Accepting the memorandum, the Collector said he doesn’t have authority over the issues but he will discuss the matter with Goa State Pollution Control Board.

He advised the group to raise the issues before the GSPCB.With regards to the issue of ownership of the land where the liquid cargo berth is proposed to be constructed, the Collector said he is aware of the issue and assured that a survey will be conducted.

While MPT claims ownership of the land, the government of Goa has not issued any order granting MPT the ownership of the land.

After the meeting, the group visited the office of the Member Secretary of Goa State Pollution Control Board. Member Secretary Sharmila Monteiro assured to look into the matter. [H]

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