Margao: Disclosing that e-coli in the Sal river is at dangerous levels, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said that efforts are on to crack the whip against those discharging sewage into the river.
Sawant, who visited Nuvem to inspect the work on western bypass, told reporters that the government has already roped in the National Institute of Oceanography to carry out a study of the river.
E-coli is at dangerous levels in the river, he said, adding that if the river has to be saved then it must be dredged.
The department of water resources has already started identifying and issuing notices to those who discharge sewage into the river, Sawant said, appealing to the people not to discharge sewage into it.
Sawant said the river will be dredged in two phases, with the work starting at the mouth of the river and then moving upstream.
The state has sought funds from the Centre for the dredging, the Chief Minister said, adding that if there is delay in getting the central funds then the state government will fund the project till it gets funds from the Centre.
Replying to a query on apprehensions of the fishing community over the possible loss of their livelihoods, he said that fish will not only spawn but we will get good quality fish after the river is dredged.
He said that a presentation has already been held for the panchayats in this regard to allay the apprehensions.
The Chief Minister asked the PWD to prepare a plan to connect the western and eastern bypasses at Nuvem while also ensuring beautification of the junction.
However, Sawant categorically ruled out completion of work on western bypass on stilts, saying that necessary steps will be taken to ensure smooth passage of water.