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Over seven lakh tonnes of imported coal stuck at Navlakhi port - 2013-05-31

Around seven lakh metric tonnes of coal primarily imported from Indonesia and meant mainly for power plants in states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh remains stuck at Navlakhi port in Gujarat due to a closure notice served by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) for the port's alleged violation of environmental norms.

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) run Navlakhi port is an all-weather port located at Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, having a cargo handling capacity of over 8 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). "The coal cannot be transported from here unless GPCB revokes its closure order," a GMB official at Navlakhi Port said.

The GPCB had served a closure notice on Navlakhi port on May 10. "A closure notice has been served on Navlakhi port for creating air pollution and not abiding by environmental norms. Only after the GMB gives an undertaking that it will comply with norms can the order be revoked," GPCB Chairman K U Mistry said. Prior to the closure notice, the port was served a notice by the GPCB in April, warning it to take corrective measure, officials said.

Meanwhile, GMB said it would soon submit an undertaking to GPCB pledging that it would mechanise the port over seven months. "Very soon we will submit an undertaking to the GPCB stating our commitment to mechanise the port and install water sprinklers to curb air pollution," a GMB spokesperson said.

At the moment, the port sprinkles water from tankers on coal mounds at the port which is not all effective to meet the specified norms, he said.

Source: The Economic Times