Mumbai Local

Port Trust not to handle coal at Haji Bunder

The city may get a breath of clean air as the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that it would not handle coal at Haji Bunder and would also clear the coal lying at the site within three months.

The Trust filed an affidavit before a Division Bench of Justices VM Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere during the hearing of a PIL by Aam Aadmi Party activist Meera Sanyal. “The Trust gave an undertaking that they will not be handling coal and the High Court has recorded their statement,” Ms Sanyal’s lawyer, K Kaushik, told The Hindu .

“Respondent 4 [MbPT] has decided to discontinue the function of coal handling. It has not permitted any discharge of coal after September 24, 2015, and is actively working towards having the existing coal picked up,” the affidavit filed by MbPT states.

The PIL challenged the ‘consent to operate’ order dated October 14, 2013, issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to MbPT, under which the Trust was allowed to carry out various business activities. The PIL contended that MbPT was not handling coal in accordance with the conditions imposed by MPCP, that it was using excavators and dumpers to transport coal instead of mechanised conveyors system, thus causing air pollution. Ms Sanyal submitted that the Dharamtar Port, about 10 km from Mumbai, was equipped to handle coal.

The coal at Haji Bunder premises would be transported to Dharamtar Port, an alternative facility for handling and transporting coal, MbPT said on Thursday. The court then directed Dharamtar Port officials to file an affidavit. The Bench noted that dust and particulate matter, along with vehicle pollution, were major contributors to air pollution. “This is a victory for us,” Ms Sanyal told The Hindu .

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 4:33:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/Port-Trust-not-to-handle-coal-at-Haji-Bunder/article14000455.ece

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