DIANA FERNANDES | NT
Efforts are underway to rejuvenate water bodies and the ground water level in the village of Benaulim as well as its neighbouring villages. Under the 15th Finance Commission funds with plans to promote rain water harvesting, local ZP member as well as the local panchayat have begun to push for cleaning water bodies including wells, ponds and traditional gyros, commonly found in the middle of fields and to rejuvenate the ground water level which is slowly depleting.
Speaking about the efforts he has taken since becoming zilla panchayat member for the constituency of Benaulim, Hanzel Fernandes said Goa would be devastated if a drought were to hit. “Today the ground water level has been affected severely and in the future, Goa may have to face a drought like situation which will be devastating. It is therefore crucial that we start rejuvenating the ground water level and water bodies across the state. As a first step, under the 15th Finance Commission we have proposed and are working on desilting ponds, reviving existing water bodies including wells and promoting rain water harvesting,” said Fernandes.
During meetings held across the constituency, he has been urging villagers to spread the word about the plan and has also been part of collecting information and data about water bodies that have been neglected and abandoned.
“During our AAP Goa meetings, we put in a word with all the villagers about the plan to revive water bodies and we have been getting good feedback. So far, farmers and landowners have come
forward and we have already started the paperwork for some places. We have also asked farmers, landowners and villagers to come forward and tell us if there have been any neglected water bodies that are in need of being repaired or cleaned. It will go a long way in providing benefit to thousands of people,” said Fernandes.
The panchayat too has begun work on inspecting and cleaning water bodies including nullahs and ponds. “We have already completed the inspection of many water
bodies including nullahs in the village and will be starting the cleaning soon. Samples of several water bodies were also collected by NIO for testing,” said village deputy sarpanch Nilesh Prabhudesai who is also chairman of the Benaulim biodiversity committee.