No complaints of coal pollution from cruise vessels
International cruise brands, which brought in more than 40 cruise vessels to Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), appear unperturbed that coking and thermal coal is handled in close proximity to the cruise berth at the port.
MPT deputy traffic manager Jerome Clement said that the port had not received any complaints from stakeholders about coal dust deterring vessels or cruise passengers.
“As far as cruise liners are concerned, not a single operator has complained to us about pollution or the vessel getting coal dust,” Clement said. He was addressing a conference on marine tourism at Calangute.
“We have a coal terminal which is a world class coal terminal where coal is handled in the most sophisticated manner. Cargo is moved to a conveyor belt and not a single particle is exposed. Also, there is a natural curtain of trees,” he said.
Clement said that the only concern expressed by several cruise operators was that of the berthing of cruise vessels at the general cargo berth instead of the dedicated cruise berth. “There is one general cargo berth where we are forced to handle larger cruise vessels. That concern has been raised,” Clement said.
Till 2017, MPT used to allow cruise vessels with an overall length of 260 meters to berth at the cruise berth while larger vessels were provided anchorage at the general cargo berth. “From this year onwards, we are handling almost 300-meter-long vessels at the cruise terminal. There is absolutely no problem of coal dust,” Clement said.
The MPT official said that to attract more cruise vessels to Goa, a decision had been taken to rationalize port fees and due to this, MPT’s revenue from cruise traffic would drop to around Rs 4 crores in 2017-18 as compared to Rs 14 crores in 2016-17.