Pollution Board asks Sesa Goa to stop coke oven unit



Panaji: After massive protests by locals, Goa State pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has asked Sesa Goa Limited to stop all activities at its coke oven unit at Navelim in Bicholim taluka, 40 kms away from here.

The locals held a day long bandh yesterday protesting against the increasing pollution allegedly due to coke oven plant at Navelim.

The villagers complained about the black soot being emanated from the plant, which has entered their water sources and even houses.

GSPCB Member Secretary Lavinsons Martin last evening issued orders to Sesa Goa Limited's Metcocke division to stop all the activities within 48 hours, until further orders.

The notice mentions that the second battery of the coke oven plant is under pre-heating and officials of M/s Sesa Goa present during the inspection have admitted that there was soot generation due to misfiring of high capacity diesel burners.

The same soot, the notice reads, was dispersed through the stack and was deposited in the nearby residential areas of Navelim.

The GSPCB has also noticed that Sesa Goa has not carried out ambient air quality monitoring since June 2012. "The continuous ambient air monitoring station has not yet been commissioned," the notice reads.

Martins said the conditions stipulated in the consent to operate orders are not adhered to. So also it is not clear if the chief inspector of factories and boilers were informed in advance about the operation of the unit.

The pollution control board has asked the company to take all necessary precaution by carrying out root cause analysis for misfiring of burners during pre-heating of coke oven and submit preventive measures you propose to undertake so as to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.

The directorate of factories and boilers, the state run department, has been directed to conduct the comprehensive investigation of the incident and submit report within seven days to the pollution control board.

PTI