The 12-kilometrelong main nullah in Ponda, which was once used for agriculture, has now turned into a garbage dumping site.
The main nullah passing through four panchayats and a municipality including Bethora, Ponda town, Kavlem and Bandora has been neglected, due to which it has become highly polluted.
Besides untreated waste from factories in Bethora Industrial Estate, sewage and garbage from the market, households, buildings and hotels in the town have polluted the main nullah.
A farmer Danjay Naik complained saying, “Since the past two decades, the locals of Bandora and Kavlem have stopped cultivating paddy due to the polluted water. They had complained of skin diseases and other illness while carrying out farming activity.”
The locals claim that lack of civic sense among some workers at the Bethora Industrial Estate and market vendors to name a few, has inconvenienced the Ponda farmers, as some of them have abandoned their fields. The authorities have failed miserably to control the pollution as the main nullah in the town has turned into a dumping ground for both sewage and waste.
Ponda Municipal Council (PMC), which collects door-to-door garbage, disposes it at its garbage treatment site. The civic body has received many awards for maintaining the town clean but on the other hand it has failed act against the culprits responsible for polluting the nullah.
Many such drains and nullahs in the town have turned into an eyesore with animal and vegetable waste dumped in them and to make things worse sewage too has found its way in these nullahs and drains.
Umesh Naik, a local said, “Residents claim that some locals dump their garbage in the nullah instead of dumping the same in the bins provided by PMC. Besides the residents, the vendors dump the vegetable, fish and chicken waste into the nullah, which results in clogging. The nullah should be covered to stop people from dumping garbage into it.”
When contacted, Ponda Market Committee president Venktesh Naik said, “Lack of civic sense has led to the problem. There is provision to punish the guilty by way of fines. We will implement the provision to bring discipline in the town. We have provided door-to-door dust bins and have been collecting garbage regularly so that people should not pollute the nullah. Residents as well as vendors should cooperate and behave responsibly and stop dumping garbage into the nullah.”