PANAJI: Mr Shantaram Naik, MP, has demanded that a team of the ministries of Mines and Water Resources should visit the Selaulim irrigation project and initiate corrective steps to check pollution of the water reservoir caused due to mining.
Making a special mention in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Mr Naik said that water not mineral ore is the real wealth of the state and society. Mr Naik in his submission said that the reservoir of Selaulim irrigation project in South Goa, which supplies drinking water to Salcete and Mormugao talukas, is suspected to be polluted due to iron ore mines around the project.
Treatment plant of the project processes around 160 to 180 metric tonnes of water daily, however, due to high manganese presence in the water, presently, not more than 145 to 150 tonnes can be treated per day, he said.
Mr Naik said that manganese content of the water, according to state PWD officials in Goa, has risen six times - from 0.5 mg to 3.0 mg and this is attributed to the ore dumps stacked outside the rivers feeding water to the reservoir, getting washed into it due to heavy rains.
As per reports there are 19 mines located around 500 meters of Selaulim water reservoir, of which, 17 are said to be within 200 meters. It is also said that three mines out of these are suspected to be the major cause of pollution of the reservoir, Mr Naik said.
No new mining law nor any new mining policy are required to handle such issues, and no one should attempt locally to politicise such a sensitive issue and take a revengeful approach, Mr Naik warned.