Panaji, Aug 29 (IANS) The state government has asked Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) to exercise caution before going ahead with a sea marina project, which Environment Minister Alina Saldanha Thursday claimed could have "ecological cost".
In a written statement, Saldanha also raised doubts about the environment impact assessment (EIA) studies conducted by the port authorities.
"The state government is committed to protecting its marine endowments and the interest of its local grassroots' stakeholders without any compromise whatsoever," Saldanha said.
The MPT is in a financial crisis after mining of iron ore, which accounted for nearly 90 per cent of the port exports, has been banned for nearly a year now.
One area, which the port is keen to diversify is marine-oriented leisure tourism, which includes creating berthing facilities for transoceanic cruise-liners and marinas for smaller vessels to park in secure coastal bays.
The marina project at Sancoale, located in close vicinity of the port (40 km from the capital) has seen objections from the fishing community who claim it will endanger marine lives and their livelihood too.
"The EIA findings absolving the marina project of all environmental impact has been conducted by privately engaged consultants and is yet to the evaluated by a competent state or central authority," Saldanha said, adding that at this stage it would be "improper to publicise that the benefits of the marina can override the ecological costs of the project".
The state government has already opposed two floating hotels in the bay, being planned by MPT.