04 Apr 2024  |   07:02am IST

Main pipeline in place, but sewage continues to sully Margao's rainwater nullahs

Residents of Madel and Navelim have reported sewage overflow from chambers due to blockages; septic waste seeps into agricultural fields, open lands, and water bodies emptying into River Sal
Main pipeline in place, but sewage continues to sully Margao's rainwater nullahs

Team Herald

MARGAO: Despite the completion of long-pending works on the North-Main sewage pipeline, the Sewerage Corporation continues to grapple with the persistent issue of leakages and sewage overflow from chambers in Margao and various other areas.

Raw sewage still seeps into open nullahs and gutters, causing damage to agricultural fields and River Sal, while also posing a serious health hazard to residents and commuters.

Officials from the Sewerage Corporation have confirmed the replacement of the faulty North-Main sewage pipeline from Presentation High School to the Sewage Treatment Plant at Sirvodem. However, a small stretch of work at Ambaji-Fatorda remains unfinished.

During inspections and interactions with residents, it was observed that raw sewage is still flowing in many places, including near the South Goa District Hospital, among other areas.

Residents of Madel and Navelim have reported sewage overflow from chambers due to blockages in Margao, Fatorda, and Navelim.

It's worth noting that in the past, the faulty North-Main sewage pipeline caused significant issues, leading to raw sewage discharge into nullahs, open fields, and the River Sal. Public pressure forced the government to undertake pipeline replacement, through works that subjected road-users to hardships, dust pollution and traffic snarls for several months last year.

Milagres Fernandes, a resident of Madel, expressed shock at sewage flowing into the nullah near the District Hospital. "We have noticed several areas where raw sewage from the chambers is overflowing," he stated. "Shockingly, the Corporation was also found releasing sewage from choked chambers directly into the gutters."

While the replacement of the North-Main sewage pipeline has mitigated the issue to some extent, the problem of leakages remains unresolved, according to Fernandes.

Ronny Dias, another citizen, emphasized that the damage caused to the River Sal and agricultural fields due to past sewage flow cannot be easily restored.

Dattaraj Pai, an official from the Sewerage Corporation, confirmed the completion and commissioning of the North-Main pipeline from Presentation High School to the STP. He mentioned that the line has been connected to internal sewage pipelines at Madel, Ambaji, and other locations. Pai assured that the pending stretch of laying sewage pipeline at Ambaji would soon be completed, addressing the issue in that area.

However, Pai acknowledged the urgency of resolving leakages and chamber blockages, indicating that other divisions of the department are actively working on solutions.

Pollution Control Board, Margao civic body seek more time to submit compliance report to HC

MARGAO: The Bombay High Court (HC) at Goa adjourned the matter related to the discharge of raw sewage into Margao’s storm water drains to April 10 after the respondents sought more time.

It may be recalled that in February, the HC had directed the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) and Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) to submit compliance reports by April 3. Concerned over the health hazard posed, the court emphasized the seriousness of the issue. At the last hearing, MMC had assured the court that notices would be served to households and commercial establishments found releasing sewage into drains and that they would coordinate with the PWD over the same matter.

Elsewhere, the Goa State Pollution Control board assured submission of sample testing reports indicating sewage contamination. This matter pertains to the complaints filed by the petitioner, Professor Antonio Alvares about how the raw sewage finds its way into Saipem lake in Navelim and River Sal.

Alvares, who is also a key leader amongst the farming community, had lamented that their fields used to suffer as a result of the unabated discharge of sewage.

The Navelim village panchayat, the Health Department and the Sewerage & Infrastructural Development Corporation of Goa Ltd (SIDCGL) as well as the Chief Secretary are the respondents in the case.

The farmers are hoping for an early resolution and implementation of the plans in this matter so that their fields are saved from such contamination and the environment can be kept clean too


Iddhar Udhar