Stating that Sal river in South Goa has been highly polluted through the release of sewage into it, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that he would consider enacting a legislation, making the act of not taking sewage connection as well as releasing of sewage directly into a water body, a cognisable offence.
The Chief Minister also stated that he would convene a meeting on Sal river pollution as well as its dredging, after end of the ongoing monsoon session of the assembly.
Earlier, senior Congress MLA Pratapsing Rane assured the Chief Minister that the Congress MLAs would support such an Ordinance, which has become necessary looking at the present condition of Sal river.
Replying to a related question from Congress MLA Wilfred D’Sa, Parrikar said that Sal river is highly contaminated and contains high quantity of fecal coliform bacteria. “The analysis report indicates exceedance of fecal coliform up to 24,000 ml (MPN – most probable number) compared to the Central Pollution Control Board prescribed standards that is 100/100 ml (MPN),” he added.
The Chief Minister further informed the House that the clams from the Sal river were found to be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, copper and
manganese, in 2014. He also revealed that no mortality of fish in this river has been reported after 2014.
Speaking further, Parrikar, who holds the Environment portfolio, said that the government will have to reduce the pollution in the Sal river step by step, including taking up its dredging.
Earlier, the Congress MLAs including Luizinho Faleiro brought to the notice of the House that sewage is released at various places in Salcete taluka into River Sal. “The pipes in the property of Leela Beach Hotel do it,” they informed, pointing out that a sewerage line opposite Presentation Convent is leaking, while the entire polluted nullah in Navelim contaminates the river.
It was also informed that another nullah near Margao bus stand and a water body at Rawanfond are further polluting the Sal river.