12 May 2017 06:34pm IST
Samir Umarye Sanquelim
Pretty river Valvanti used by non locals to wash their clothes; Angry local residents now call it ‘dhobi ghat’; Want a public toilet built to serve all
Anybody who has seen the film Singham 2 will remember the River Valvanti. It is also famous for the festivals held on its banks at Sanquelim, especially after they were developed some years ago by the government bringing a new look to the entire area. But today, the same banks, close to the Vitthal temple at Sanquelim, are not as picturesque as they used to be. Angry local residents now call it ‘dhobi ghat’.
What has angered residents is that the area has turned into a bathing place for non locals who also wash their clothes in the river water. This can be seen happening every morning and it continues unabated.
This area is also has several bandharas, which add colour to the existing natural beauty, that take water to pumping station which supplies water to the Padosem treatment plant at Sanquelim.
“There are about eight bandharas from Keri to Sanquelim and so we have lots of water stored through these bandharas. But here on the banks of the River Valvanti at Vitthalapur, it is another scene that we see. Several people from outside the village and state come to this ‘ghat’ to wash their clothes and they spread all their material here to dry,” Sanquelim resident Santosh Chari complained.
“The same dirty water is then pumped in by the nearby pump station and sent to Padosem water treatment plant. To add to this, there are times they also answer nature’s call in the open water which pollutes the area. All this should be stopped immediately,” Chari said.
This place takes on a festive look especially on Day 5 of the zatra and also during the Tripurari Poornima festival which is held annually.
The area was made famous some years ago. “This is really a good spot where Bollywood movie Singham 2 was shot but today it has been totally neglected. The benches by the side of the river have been broken and the government has also not paid any attention to it,” Prakash Naik stated.
Mahesh Naik from Sanquelim had a similar opinion and felt that the authorities should at the very least build a toilet in the area. “There are several festivals held in the area but it is surprising that there is no permanent toilet facility available in the area. Due to this non-Goans use the river side to answer nature’s call. Today it looks like it is more of a ‘dhobi ghat’ with so many of them washing and drying their clothes here,” he said.