PANAJI: Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on Wednesday stated that the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) will not be allowed to handle more than 14 million ton coal per annum and claimed that the import of coal would drop considerably.

Speaking to reporters after returning Goa from Delhi, Sawant made it clear that the government will not allow MPT to import coal beyond 14 MT per annum and on the contrary ensure that it will drop considerably. He said that after stoppage of iron ore exports, the MPT started importing coal to tide over the crisis and for survival of the port.

He added that maximum 14 MT coal was imported at Mormugao port in the year 2017.

Sawant disclosed that plans were afoot to export fertilisers and pharmaceutical products from the Mormugao port and added that he had already discussed with Union Minister for Ports Mansukh Mandaviya to bring the Mother vessel from JNPT, Mumbai port to Mormugao port.

He said that he briefed Mandaviya about the concern of the people over coal import added that the Union Minister will visit Goa in a month’s time and take appropriate decision after studying the functioning of the MPT.

“We will see how MPT berths will be used for tourism related activities and for other categories of commodities by reducing coal import at Mormugao port,” Sawant said.

The Chief Minister said that the MPT has dropped projects proposed by the consultants in Sagarmala reports since they were not feasible. These projects are Deepening of approach channel and turning circle to facilitate berthing of capsized vessels; Development of two berths with connecting flyover for Indian Navy and Coast Guard at Vasco Bay; Outer harbour and iron ore and coal terminal and the Multipurpose terminal at Betul.

Sawant informed that MPT is developing state-of-the-art international and domestic cruise terminal with allied activities of RO-RO and ROPEX ferry services, shopping arcade and for quick mobilization of tourists and general public which will add to social-economic development of the State.