Kamat hits out at Goa CM for claims about coal handling at MPT

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Panaji, Nov 19 (PTI) Congress leader Digambar Kamat on Thursday asked Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to prove the allegation that he had enhanced the coal handling capacity at Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) during his tenure in office.

Last week, Sawant had accused Kamat of granting permission for the expansion of coal handling capacity at MPT twice during the latter's tenure as the chief minister between 2007-12.

Speaking to reporters here, the Congress leader said, 'Let them show at least one document signed by me during my tenure as the chief minister permitting the expansion of coal handling capacity at MPT. Keeping documents in the pocket and making allegations does not serve any purpose.' The Leader of Opposition said the allegations leveled against him were false.

The chief minister had earlier claimed that 'it was the Congress-led government in 2011 that had allowed the expansion of coal handling capacity at MPT'.

'The Goa Pollution Control Board gave environment clearance for the expansion of coal handling twice,' he alleged.

On November 15, Sawant announced that the coal handling capacity at MPT will be reduced by more than 50 per cent by introducing alternative tourism projects.

The opposition parties and several activists have been opposing three projects in the coastal state, including expansion of a national highway and doubling of a railway line by South Western Railway, alleging that they were being executed to help multinationals transport coal from MPT to neighbouring Karnataka. PTI RPS ARU ARU