26 May 2024  |   05:49am IST

Toxic waste lying unattended

Toxic waste lying unattended

Rolling mills, that were the pride of Cuncolim Industrial Estate when it commenced, turned into a bane as not only it is a power guzzler, but also because it caused so much pollution that threatens life even today.

It began with coal and dust pollution because their chimneys were not of the desired height. Following the court’s intervention, chimney height in the 10 such plants was raised but the other directions are not followed regularly.

“They were directed to cover the chimneys with a canopy and water the chimneys to collect the fly ash and dust as ‘garland tray’ which is hardly done,” said DrJorsonFernandes who succeeded in sealing two such plants.

DrFernandes’ letter regarding pollution by Sunrise Zinc and Nicomet Ltd. was converted into a PIL by the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court and combined with another petition filed by Oscar Martins in 2006.

A year later, both the plants were ordered to be sealed after photographs showing the waste called slag began getting dumped in an abandoned quarry at Paddi, were produced in the court.

The two factories closed shops and their plots are now allotted to others but their nearly three storeys high untreated toxic waste is still lying on the landfill sites.

This waste contains heavy metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, zinc, nickel and even arsenic which is not even covered property and during monsoon all these heavy metals seep into the water and cause pollution. In 2007 itself four wells situated five kms away from the industrial estate were found to be polluted by heavy metals and since then people are not consuming well water in the area.

“How the authorities let the two companies just leave without attending to the nearly 8,000 tonnes of untreated waste, is a big question,” said Dr Fernandes.


Iddhar Udhar