MARGAO: Amidst concerns over sewage and wastewater discharge into city drains, the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has taken decisive action against households and businesses breaching regulations outlined in the Goa Municipalities Act and Goa Public Health Act.
Approximately 150 entities along the stormwater nullah, from the Margao flyover to the Kudchadkar nullah, have been identified for violations and are receiving formal notices.
These notices, citing under Section 197 and 224 of the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968 and rules made there under and under Section 41 of the Goa Public Health Act, 1985, call for explanations regarding the discharge of sewage into fields and the Salpem lake, which is based in Navelim. Recipients have also been warned of potential water connection disconnection should they fail to address the issue promptly, aiming to mitigate neighbourhood nuisances and health hazards
MMC Chief Officer (CO) Gaurish Sankhwalkar has asked these households and other establishments to show cause as to why a penalty of Rs 5,000 should not be imposed on them for discharging, disposing, releasing sewage/wastewater.
These places have also been asked to show cause as to why the matter should not be referred to the Assistant Engineer and the Health Officer for the disconnection of water connection.
They have been asked to respond within a week’s time of receiving the notice.
The motivation behind the Margao Municipal Council's crackdown stems from revelations during a sanitary inspection revealing numerous wastewater pipes clandestinely discharging into drains. During this inspection, approximately 150 entities were found to be contributing to the pollution of the Kudchadkar nullah and the Salpem lake by channelling wastewater through hidden pipes under drain slabs. Officials believe this discovery represents only a fraction of the larger issue, with potentially more violators along the nullah’s length. They anticipate broader intervention from agencies like the Sewerage and Infrastructural Development Corporation of Goa (SIDCGL) and the Public Works Department (PWD) to implement lasting solutions.
Questions arise regarding the absence of an underground sewage network from the Old Railway gate to the Kudchadkar hospital, and whether households and businesses have refrained from obtaining sewerage connections. These queries stem from the ongoing PIL filed by Professor Antonio Alvares that the High Court has been hearing.
The HC had recently directed the MMC to address sewage infrastructure deficiencies, particularly in the Azad Nagar housing colony. The HC will be hearing the matter on February 14 where it has also asked the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) to provide updates on the matter and has also asked the Navelim village panchayat to be a respondent in the PIL.