Locals point out that some units were dispersing waste water in rain drains; Want all polluting fish meal plants to shut down; Threaten agitation
Agitated Cuncolkars are now planning to come out with all force to close all polluting fish meal plants in Cuncolim Industrial Estate. Recently, an international organisation had listed Cuncolim Industrial Estate as one of the most polluted industrial estate in India.
For the past thirty years, Cuncolkars have been bearing this nuisance. First it was the hazardous factories dealing in chemicals and now for the last ten years it is the polluting fish meal plants.
There are six fish meal plants operating at CIE. In fact, Cuncolkars had objected for such type of polluting units at CIE. Unfortunately, both Congress and BJP government did not pay attention to the sentiments of the people of Cuncolim, despite the locals objection to the polluting plants.
Some years ago, Goa Pollution Control Board had sealed some polluting fish plants and had issued them order to put effluent treatment plant. Unfortunately, very few units obeyed the order and those who claim that they have EST are lying or their EST plants are not functioning.
In fact, the GIDC had assured to establish common effluent treatment plant at CIE. Unfortunately that plan never came into existence.
Locals had asked GSPCB to keep a strict vigil on the fish plants. Besides, there were several complaints from locals that fish plants were responsible for the foul smell in the area, as they dumped their waste water inside the plant. Locals also allege that because of these fish plants their wells have got contaminated and the plants have also badly affected the flora and fauna of the locality.
People point out that none of the fish plant are following the pollution control board guidelines and doing as they please.
Locals point out that some units were dispersing their waste water in rain drains, while some factory owners had dug up pits inside their plant to pump out fish waste water. It is also revealed by some workers that some factories have constructed bore wells without permission.
If the workers are to be believed, in one fish plant itself there are over 18 bore wells without taking permission from the authorities.
At IDC, many factories have constructed Illegal bore wells and illegal pits to hide their waste.
The past municipal council had adopted a resolution to say no to polluting unit and the former MLA Rajan Naik had instructed the Promotion and Investment Board not to grant any support to establish fish meal plants. However, despite strong objections, the present chairperson and a councillor had issued NOC for fish plant, which was revoked after protests.
Now, keeping in mind that the plants are hazardous, Cuncolkars have demanded the immediate closer of all fish meal plants.
Alvis Almeida, a local has demanded a joint-inspection from GSPCB and IDC, along with factory owners and locals, saying fish plants were not following pollution norms and alleged that some fish plants are not acting in according with the prescribed law.
Locals also suggested that higher authorities must prepare a report on fish plants and if need arrises, authorities must not hesitate to lock the factories and revoke the permission issued to them.
There is also a debate on social media on how to stop pollution and Cuncolkars now are adamant that all polluting units must be stopped.
Locals have also decided to submit memorandum to get rid of the constant fish stink and hope to meet government authorities soon to demand immediate closer of fish plants. People also threatened an agitation if their demands were not met. Recently, speaking to the media MLA Clafacio Dias had said there is a need to control pollution at IDC and assured to raise this issue in Goa Assembly.