Thursday 18 Apr 2024

Questions over plugging sewage discharge into drains as SIDCGL clears connections in Calconda

THE GOAN NETWORK | APRIL 03, 2024, 01:07 AM IST
Questions over plugging sewage discharge into drains as SIDCGL clears connections in Calconda

MARGAO
In an interesting development, the Sewerage Infrastructure Development Corporation of Goa Ltd (SIDCGL) has informed the Margao Municipal Council that the Corporation has cleared seven out of the eight applications received for release of house sewer connections in the Calconda area of the commercial capital.

Questions, however, remains unanswered – how will the Margao Municipality or the SIDCGL or the PWD, sewerage go about plugging the rampant discharge of raw sewage by hundreds of households and commercial establishments in the storm water nullah and drains?

This question assumes significance and comes against the backdrop of the fact that the issue of discharge of raw sewage into the drains leading to the Salpem lake and the river Sal is now under the close scanner of the High Court in the PIL filed by Navelim villager Prof Antonio Alvares.

Consider this. The MMC has over a month ago issued notice to around 200 households and commercial establishments, warning of water disconnections if the sewage discharge is not stopped immediately. In reply, the households and establishments denied that their premises are connected to the storm water nullahs and drains, leaving the MMC with no option than to verify the claims made by the owners.

The minutes of the joint meeting chaired by Margao Municipal Chief Officer, Gaurish Sankhwalkar shed light on the prevailing situation. In fact, it had come to light that while some of the households have claimed that their premises are connected to the underground line, the sewage charges are not mentioned in the water bills of the consumers.

It also came to light that at the Osia Commercial Arcade situated near the SGPDA market Margao in respect of discharge of sewage. Margao Municipal Council has already issued show cause notices to the commercial premises. The officials of PWD were requested to look in the matter of sewage disposal in the drain, but the problem remains unresolved till date.

Incidentally, when the Chief Officer enquired with the Urban Health Centre Margao whether any inspections have been carried out considering the show cause notices issued by the Council, a representative of the Urban Health Centre stated that they have not inspected any of the premises where show cause notices have been issued. It was then decided to send a letter to the Directorate of Health Centre Panaji and Urban Health Centre, Margao for necessary action.

There’s another problem staring at the government officials in connecting the households to the underground line, especially in the Malbhat-Calconda area. A senior PWD official has maintained that inspections have revealed that sewer connections can be released whether the sewerage line is laid, but constraints have come to the fore in areas like Malbhat and Calconda where the area is totally congested and there is no place to lay the sewer lines.

On this behalf, a report has been made and forwarded to the head office to get the work executed by an expert agency. Questions have been raised whether any decision to engage an expert agency has been taken till date.

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