Sanitation issue remains a major concern for Velim panchayat with nearly 15 per cent of the households still not having a toilet facility.
An earlier inspection, which was carried out by pollution control board along with CRZMA (coastal regulatory zone management authority), had found large number of houses without toilets and provision for disposal of sewage, in absence of which it was being released directly into the river Sal.
A fresh survey carried out to ascertain the number of houses without toilets reveal that nearly 15 per cent of the households do not have such a provision. The survey points that of 1754 houses surveyed, 216 were without proper toilets three years after the pollution control board had submitted its report on release of sewage in river Sal.
Further, nearly 7000 workers are employed on various trawlers and in allied fishing services. It has compounded the sanitation problem as the fisheries department jetty has just 10-seater toilet while the proposal for a 50-seater toilet block is yet to see the light of the day even two years after the foundation stone for the same was laid in 2016.
Residents informed that the number of houses without toilets mostly belong to fishing community, which were built in the 90s. They said that the major concern is the availability of land to build individual toilets for so many houses.
Velim sarpanch Savio D’Silva said that at present there is a problem. He said hopefully the situation will improve with the intervention of the government which is working around making villages open defecation free. He said that “we have carried out a survey and identified houses for which toilets will hopefully be provided before December 19 deadline proposed by the government.”