The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) will be issuing show-cause notices to two detergent companies – Esteem Industries Pvt Ltd and VIC Industries – located in the Pissurlem industrial estate for polluting the famous Harvalem waterfall in Sankhali.
The notices will be issued to the companies for violating the consent to operate and showing negligence in handling raw material used for preparing liquid detergent in an open area. The raw material turned into foam after coming into contact with water flowing from various rivulets in upper areas of Pissurlem further cascading from a height of 50 metres to form the beautiful Harvalem waterfall.
The scientific team of the pollution control board had carried out an inspection to assess the foaming phenomenon and found that toxic chemicals used in the preparation of detergents were stored inappropriately in leaking open barrels outside the godowns of the companies.
These toxic chemicals found their way into the water flowing from the various rivulets and thus polluted the waterfall further resulting in foam on the surface of the stream flowing from the waterfall site. The foam was a result of the turbulence and wave action of the waterfall, according to the scientific team of the GSPCB.
The GSPCB is presently analysing the water samples collected from the site and the test results will be available after 10-15 days.
Speaking to this daily, senior officials of the GSPCB said that the inspection report has found prima facie evidence against the two detergent companies, which come under red category industries, for showing utmost negligence in complying with the consent to operate. “The frothing over the water body clearly shows there is mismanagement. We will soon issue show-cause notices to them. We are now waiting for water analysis report to confirm the type and level of chemical presence in the water body,” they said.
According to a scientific expert, the toxic foam can result in respiratory and skin problems as well as serious health implications.
On Sunday afternoon, the Harvalem waterfall site was covered with noxious white puffy foam.