The River Rejuvenation Committee (RRC-Goa) headed by Chief Secretary Parimal Rai has decided to delist River Talpona flowing in Canacona from its 11 polluted river stretches after over a year of study and serious pollution abatement intervention.
Delisting is done when “all pollution abatement goals have been achieved” and “no further intervention is required to protect human health or the environment.”
A 5-km river stretch (from Talpona to Gokarna Math) has been delisted, or removed, from the list of polluted rivers after its water quality showed signs of improvement following strict intervention including improvement in institutional mechanism in solid-waste management and issuance of notices against violators for illegal discharge of sewage.
GSPCB in its monthly monitoring of water-quality carried out between April and October 2019 has found that the water-quality parameters (that is pH / dissolved oxygen – DO / biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total coliform) have improved in River Talpona and are within the CPCB-prescribed parameters and thus it does not fall under the “polluted river-stretch” as per the criteria stipulated by the CPCB (that is BOD).
This river stretch was classified under priority IV, with
BOD recorded at 6.8 mg/litre and classified as class-C (drinking water source
after conventional treatment and
Accordingly, an action plan was strategised to achieve BOD less than 3 mg/litre in the River Talpona along with ten other identified polluted stretches.
NGT had issued direction to every state to constitute the RRC in the every state with Chief Secretary as its chairman and directed to prepare action plans for making all polluted river stretches fit for at least bathing purposes.
Accordingly, the state government had constituted RRC and prepared draft action plans for 11 polluted river stretches of Goa.
The action plan includes components like identification of polluting sources including the functioning/ status of STPs/ETPs/CETP and solid waste management and processing facilities, quantification and characterisation of solid waste, trade and sewage generated in the catchment area of polluted river stretch.
RRC-Goa had recently approved the ‘Revised’ action plans for three rivers of Sal, Mandovi and Talpona river-stretches, falling under priority criteria III /IV, and will be submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for approval.
In respect of Sal river, various interventions are being executed including laying of sewerage network / diversion at Sirvodem and Khareband nullah through SIDCGL, de-silting of polluted-stretch is being executed through Captain of Ports (CoP), providing toilet-facilities at fish-landing sites is being completed through department of fisheries to address the issue of pollution due to direct discharge of untreated sewage.
GSPCB has levied fines under the Polluter-Pay-Principle (PPP) on commercial establishments located along the banks of Mandovi river-stretch for discharge / release of untreated sewage with instructions to provide sewage-treatment methodology within stipulated timeframe.
However, GSPCB in its report mentioned that the water quality of River Mandovi has marginally improved since May 2019. It has conducted the ‘Water-Audit’ of six casinos in January 2020 and the report is being scrutinised by the Board to further strengthen the mechanism to address the data-gaps.