09 Jan 2022  |   05:47am IST

Why is sewerage master plan kept hidden?

Wesley Edward Pereira

This has reference to the report titled ‘Benaulim villagers want sewage line work stopped’ (Herald, January 7).

I again refer to the Ex-ante Evaluation report of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the presently executed Goa Water supply & Sewerage project. Section 2 of this Ex-ante Evaluation report is on necessity and relevance of Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) assistance for the project. Under this section of the report (refer page 1), it is stated that Goa State, which is situated close to the central part of the west coast of the Indian subcontinent facing the Arabian Sea, has a population of 1.4 million and is attracting a large number of foreign tourists every year (around 1.8 million in 2005).

How many foreign tourists visited Goa in the year 2005-2006? As per the Eleventh Five-Year Plan 2007-2012 and Annual Plan 2007-2008 report (Refer Section 9.2 Tourism, pg.245), 180310 foreign tourists were brought in by 719 charter flights during the season 2005-06 (October 2005 to May 2006) and 45% of the foreign tourist arrivals was by charter flights. Considering remaining 55% of the foreign tourist arrivals by non-charter flights and other modes of transportation, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in Goa during the season 2005-2006 is approximately 4,00,000(0.4 million or 4 lakh). The figure of 18,00,000 (1.8 million or 18 lakh ) foreign tourists indicated in the Ex-ante Evaluation report of JICA is 4.5 times more. The JICA Goa Water supply & sewerage project was therefore approved based on wrong information on population demands!

Further, according to the Ex-ante Evaluation report of the JICA Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project, the target areas for the Sewerage component are Margao, Mapusa, and North Coastal Belt in Goa State. The Herald news report (October 1, 2015) on the Carmona mega housing project mentions about a sewerage treatment plant & sewerage line covering three villages of South Goa. Are there plans to extend the target areas for the sewerage component of the JICA funded Goa water supply & sewerage project to villages along the River Sal to promote unsustainable tourism & mega housing projects?

I refer to the tender notice No. SIDCL/Admn-7/F.No.TN-2/3341/14-15 dated 22/07/2014.of the Sewerage & Infrastructure Development Corporation of Goa Ltd.(SIDCGL) inviting Expression of Interest for the preparation of Master Plan for sewerage scheme for the State of Goa.Which new sewerage schemes were included in the master plan? Why are the Terms of Reference for the preparation of Sewerage Master Plan not made available on the website of SIDCGL?  

The Sewerage Master Plans (SMPs) are required to identify existing site-specific sewerage problems based on land-use plans and topography of catchment areas and thereafter to propose improvements to the sewerage system. There is a need to set out water quality objectives to protect the water bodies and develop a long-term strategy of sewage collection, treatment and disposal. The SMP assignment should recommend site-specific improvement works to be taken up over a period of time to resolve existing sewerage infrastructure problems in Goa State.

The topographical /contour land use-maps and the settlement plans are key requirements for proper layout planning & design of the sewerage utility networks, sewerage treatment plants and outfall locations. What is the human population demand for planning large sewerage infrastructure projects in villages of Goa ?

Let me repeat. One of the urgent target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-6 was to protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes. The protection of the water-related ecosystems  is critical for implementing nature-based solutions for mitigating disaster risks. Has the State of Goa achieved this required target by the year 2020 to get top ranking in SDG-6 ?


Idhar Udhar