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Save Bicholim River

THE slow poisoning of the Bicholim River must be neutralised with a powerful antidote. The river must be saved for sustaining local agriculture as well as building a healthier environment. The government must allocate special funds for it. They must involve local communities, for without people’s participation, problems of pollution would never get solved. In many ways people are contributors to the pollution of the river. Unfortunately river pollution is yet to become a serious concern in Goa. The government must force industries to install effluent treatment plants and stop other polluting agents. Unauthorised hutments along river banks should be removed.  Unauthorised hutments that grew by leaps and bounds over the years were a source of trouble. Villagers leased out rooms to migrant workers without providing proper basic sanitation facilities, while the civic and panchayat officials looked the other way. As a result, the e-coli count in river water has become alarming. There are many sources other than migrant workers adding to the pollution of the river. The sooner we start implementing measures to check river pollution in Goa the better. It might sound cynical but the problem is not as acute in Goa’s rivers as it is say, in a river like the Ganga. Pollution in the Ganga is caused by leather, chemical and other industries, debris and rejects from large scale constructions. Some garbage is created by pilgrims and worshippers who dump all kinds of things into the river in the name of receiving blessings. This is not the case with the Bicholim river and most of Goa’s rivers. We can reverse the decline of the state’s rivers much more easily than we can do that of the Ganga or Yamuna. Let’s do it.

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