VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has decided to write to GVMC to stop its drainage channel letting polluted water into the sea in the port area. Speaking to TNIE here on Sunday, VPT chairman K Ramamohana Rao said untreated water along with plastic waste was flowing into the sea. “Sometimes plastic waste was even entering the engines of vessels,” he added. He urged the GVMC to either construct a sewage treatment plant (STP) or let only treated water into the port area.
Referring to port pollution, he said he noticed a sheet of black dust on banana plantations at his residence in harbour park area three to four months ago. But now the leaves are looking clean and green due to sustained efforts to bring down pollution after he took over the reins of the port, he pointed out.
The VPT chief stated that they were taking continuous dust suppression steps such as sprinkling the area and covering the stacks with tarpaulins. In order to further augment steps to bring down the pollution, he said they were planning to lay a pipeline along the high rise compound wall of stack yard at a height of 10 to 15 feet and they will be fitted with mist sprinklers. The sprinklers will help suppress the dust even if it rises in the air to that level and will not allow dust to cross beyond the compound wall which is 7.5 meters high. He said whenever there is a fire break out at the port, fire brigade will rush to the area to douse the fire. The entire stack yard is monitored 24x7 through CCTV cameras.
Ramamohana Rao explained that the work on the covered storage facility will begin in three acres and bids will be invited in 10 to 15 days. He maintained that they were taking tough action against cargo handling companies if they are spreading cargo dust pollution. He said when dust emanated from a handling unit due to a defect in a belt, it was asked to stop operations for one hour. If the operation stopped for one hour it will take five hours to resume operations. Hence, the companies fell in line and were taking steps to check dust pollution. He said these steps will help the port retain the cleanest port image.
Meanwhile, a GVMC official said they have installed meshes in drainage channels along the beach road so as to prevent flowing of floating material into the sea. He said there was a proposal to divert the channels to STP at Appughar by interconnecting them. He said the channels at Pandurangapuram and another in the old city were diverted and the remaining will be diverted for which a study was going on.