10 Jul 2024  |   06:17am IST

Citizens step in: Vigilant Colmorod locals halt diversion of sewage into rain gutters

This illegal solution comes as Navelim’s farmers struggle with raw sewage contaminating their fields; septic waste should go to the two STPs located in the same village, but instead, ends up flowing into storm water gutters that feed into River Sal
Citizens step in: Vigilant Colmorod locals halt diversion of sewage into rain gutters

Team Herald

MARGAO: Citizens have strongly criticised both the Public Works Department (PWD) and the government for their efforts to conceal substandard work in laying sewerage network lines in Margao. On Tuesday, residents of Colmorod took action by halting the laying of a pipeline intended to connect an overflowing sewage chamber to the roadside drain – a ‘shortcut’ to get rid of the unsightly mess.

Due to heavy rains, sewage chambers have been overflowing in several places for the last several days, causing inconvenience to commuters and posing a health hazard to residents.

Residents informed reporters that there is a sewerage network chamber near Gomati building at Colmorod which consistently overflows during monsoons due to the reverse flow of raw sewage. Despite repeated notifications to the Sewerage Corporation, no effective action has been taken to resolve the issue.

Former Margao municipality chairperson Savio Coutinho told O Heraldo that workers began digging a trench to lay a pipeline on Tuesday. Residents from Gomati building promptly alerted him about the matter, leading to the work being immediately halted. “When the Sewerage Department engineers were contacted, they indicated that the Public Works Department (PWD) was responsible for laying the pipeline and clarified that they had no role to play in the current activities,” he stated.

Speaking to reporters, Coutinho expressed his shock at the manner in which the department is functioning, particularly in light of an ongoing petition before the High Court concerning the pollution of Salpem Lake. He alleged that while the High Court is actively working to rectify the situation by ordering the connection of residential and commercial premises to the sewerage network to prevent raw sewage from flowing into drains, and eventually into the fields, lakes and River Sal, the department was found doing the opposite.

Coutinho alleged that the substandard works executed through the infamous JICA contract are now manifesting as a public nuisance.

Colmorod locals Clement D’Souza and Johnny Monteiro demanded that the government find a permanent solution to the problem of overflowing sewage chambers and refrain from resorting to ‘shortcut methods’ of releasing sewage into the drains.

IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar