01 Apr 2023  |   06:22am IST

The sad state of Cuncolim Industrial Estate: Opp MLAs take govt to task over pollution, encroachments by factories

CM Sawant assures inspection to review illegalities, action against illegalities in a fortnight
The sad state of Cuncolim Industrial Estate: Opp MLAs take govt to task over pollution, encroachments by factories

Team Herald

PORVORIM: The opposition members on Friday cornered the government in the Legislative Assembly over rampant illegalities, irregularities, pollution and encroachments in the Cuncolim Industrial Estate. 

Leader of the Opposition, Yuri Alemao, tabled a calling attention notice, claiming that various industrial units in the estate were violating Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) rules by building housing colonies to accommodate migrant workers in their allotted plots. He also alleged that nearly 300 to 400 migrant workers were residing within the Cuncolim IDC, and the failure of the government to act on this could result in a law-and-order situation.

Alemao specifically pointed out that M/s Karthik Induction Limited was operating without renewing the factory license, in contravention of Rule 9 of Goa Factories Rules 1985, and the GIDC had not conducted inspections. He alleged that the factory had encroached the adjacent Socidedade property outside the IDC boundary and was constructing a huge wall.

He also alleged that most factories in the Cuncolim IDC were flouting rules, and the absence of effluent treatment plants was posing a health hazard and complained of the foul stench emanating from the fish meal factories. Alemao told the Assembly that incidents of cancer cases had been reported.

Moreover, the Opposition Leader said, there was no nodal agency to coordinate with various departments such as the Department of Industries, Directorate of Fire Services, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Department of Finance, Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers, Department of Legal Metrology, Department of Labour and Employment, Department of Revenue and Department of Home, as well as other authorities.

In response, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant assured the House that the government would not allow polluting industries to operate in the Cuncolim IDC and only those in compliance with pollution and other laid-down guidelines would be permitted. He said that he would ask the concerned authorities to conduct a joint inspection to review if there is pollution and illegalities by the industries.

Regarding encroachments, Sawant said that the Deputy Collector had already stopped the encroachment, and action would be taken within a fortnight, once the entire report is received. He proposed bringing together departments such as Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers, Commissioner of Labour and Employment, Department of Legal Metrology, and GSPCB, other concerned line departments  under a Central Inspection System (CIS) to promote inter-departmental coordination.

Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho stated that the government took a lenient view of migrants residing within the Cuncolim IDC to avoid social tension in the village. He added that in the future, the government would designate utility areas to allow workers to reside within the industrial estates, paying necessary fees to the GIDC, and with all required amenities.


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