Panaji: Union Minister State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Tourism Shripad Naik on Tuesday wrote back to Goa Forward Party (GFP) President Vijay Sardesai assuring him to examine action on coal handling at Mormugao Port Trust (MPT).
In a letter, the union minister said,” I am in receipt of your email dated 18th July 2021. I will examine the matter which has been mentioned and take a decision in the interest of the state.’’
”Over the last many months, Goem is facing the looming spectre of being transformed into a coal transportation hub with no benefit to Goem or Goemkars, but which will only spell disaster for the ecology and environment of our natural endowed state. On the one hand, the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) is using The Major Port Authorities Act 2021 to gobble up nearly the entire coastline and all riverbanks, while the nationalization of six Goan rivers along with the three linear projects in the Western Ghats will deprive Goem and Goemkars of the rest of their natural heritage. All these laws and projects threaten to destroy our natural beauty and finish Goem as a tourist destination,” Sardesai had said in his letter.
“The prospect of becoming a coal hub will sign the death warrant to our tourism. Our traditional fishing communities and industry will also disappear if coal transportation through our rivers becomes a reality. As Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, you, must be aware of the fact that the only beneficiaries of making Goem a coal transportation hub will be the big business lobbies who will transport the coal and the MPT. No industrial activity in Goem will benefit, and benefits for Goemkars, if any, will be extremely marginal. However, the end of tourism and fishing, which is a natural corollary to coal transportation, will bring on, not only environmental disaster to our Goem, but also economic ruin to all Goemkars,” he had argued.