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GPCB orders closure of Okha Port over air pollution

Logistic News - Published on Wed, 11 Jul 2018

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Times of India reported that the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has suspended operations at Okha Port in Devbhoomi Dwarka following closure order by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) over violation of environment pollution norms. The major concern for GPCB was cargo like coal and bauxite being handled at port in open causing air pollution. After it received several complains, GPCB issued the notice to GMB to curb pollution. But in its latest inspection, officials found that coal and bauxite were still being kept in open without cover. Okha Port currently handles 5 million tonne cargo every year.

The major commodities imported at the port include coal, coke, wheat, sulphur, fertilizer and limestone while exported items are calcium, bauxite, onion, chemicals and soda ash. Bauxite, coal and limestone comprise major portion of the cargo handled by the port.

The GMB Port officer issued a letter about the closure to all stake holders like exporters, importers and shipping agents. The letter stated that following the GPCB orders no port activities would be allowed till further orders.

Okha port officer Arvind Mishra told TOI, “We received closure order on July 2. But we gave time of four days to all our stake holders to clear their cargo. We will take corrective measures to curb pollution and will try to convince GPCB officers to allow us to resume operations as soon as possible.”

The National Green Tribunal had issued guidelines for all the ports that handle coal and bauxite to have stacker platforms, wall and fogger machines to suppress the dust.

Mr Ajay Bhadoo, GMB vice-chairman and CEO told TOI, “Environment management can’t be implemented overnight. We are implementing it one by one. We have done tendering to construct a seven-foot wall in the operational area to prevent dust from spreading outside the area.”

Mr Bhadoo said that “Bauxite is major concern. So, for some time we will separate bauxite from other cargo. Within a week we will approach GPCB with the corrective measures taken to follow the environment management guidelines and ask them to allow us to resume operations again.”

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 11 Jul 2018
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