Coal handling at Mormugao Port Trust to be reduced: Goa CM

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Panaji, Nov 15 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said the coal handling at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) would be reduced by more than 50 per cent by introducing alternative tourism projects including launching of a RORO (Roll On Roll Off) ferry service.

Speaking to reporters, he ruled out allegations of compromising on the environment by approving projects like the expansion of a national highway and double-tracking of a railway line.

Several NGOs and Opposition parties have launched protests against laying of a transmission line through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and the National Park at Mollem fearing that it would destroy the ecology.

'Handling of coal at the MPT will be reduced by more than 50 per cent by introducing several other alternative tourism projects.

'The Union Shipping Minister will be coming to Goa next one month. We are introducing the Roll-on-RollOff (RORO) ferry from MPT to Fort Aguadaand Old Goa (North Goa),' the chief minister said.

He said the state government has introduced solar power policy by providing 50 per cent subsidy for setting up solar power generation units.

'However, only 29 Goans have availed it so far,' he lamented.

He appealed to all 40 MLAs in the state to set up solar power generation units at their residences.

'Power Minister Nilesh Cabral has already set up an example. I am also installing a solar power generation unit on the rooftop of my house. I want other MLAs too to join the initiative,' the CM said.

Sawant also announced his government's intent to convert rooftops of various buildings owned by it into solar power generation spots on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

'Street lights are also being converted to make them compatible to run on solar power to reduce the consumption of power,' he added. PTI RPS NSK NSK