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Goa Beaches Are Mysteriously Turning Black. Here’s Why

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The beaches of Goa are known to be some of the most beautiful on the west coast of India. But now, there appears to be a major issue affecting these beaches, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, unusual pieces of a black material, believed to be charcoal, appear to settle on the beaches of Goa. The report mentions that there is speculation that the imported coal that is handled at the port of Mormugao was heading for the state’s beaches.

Fishermen and water sports coaches first noticed and reported the black particles on Benaulim Beach in South Goa, while famous activist Claude Alvares visited Querim Beach in North Goa, which also contained black particles.

“We noticed it yesterday for the first time, the black particulate matter that was different from tar balls,” said Pelé Fernandes, a water sports operator at Benaulim Beach.

“A few tourists were asking me what it was and I had to say I don’t even know if I suspected it was coal because I was worried that they could no longer visit the beach,” Fernandes said.

Claude Alvares elaborated on his findings and said that the coal stranding along the beaches of Goa was “solely due to the fact that the loading and unloading operations at MPT are still very primitive”.

Earlier last year, researchers at IIT-Kharagpur and the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa published a study in which they noted the presence of “dark black powder from the adjacent beaches of the Mandovi river ”.

“The physical appearance of black powder was very similar to that of fine particles of coal. The scanning electron microscope images also support that the black powder was carbon particles. However, further investigation is needed to identify the sources of this fine black particle associated with a high concentration of Hg, ”says the study.

As a result, the Goa government made a public commitment to curtail coal imports, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant assuring that the state will not be allowed to turn into a “coal hub”.

“I assure you that imports and handling of coal will drop by 50 percent. We will reduce the coal and are in the process of shutting it down as quickly as possible. We cannot stop it completely. Industries have been active (operating) for 40 years, ”Sawant said.

READ ALSO: Sunburn announces the return of the Goa festival

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