NERUL: The village panchayat of Nerul, taking cognisance of the garbage problem on Coco beach, has written to the tourism department to clear it up. The panchayat has pointed out that the garbage from the water washes onto the shore, littering the beach and also creating obstruction for the activities of the traditional fishermen.
Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, when contacted regarding the garbage at Coco beach, said that he has received a letter from the village panchayat and he will be instructing the garbage contractor to clean the beach.
He said those conducting trips for tourists are responsible for collecting garbage and handing it over to garbage contractor.
There was a similar situation at Miramar but the contractor cleared the garbage, he said, adding, regarding the garbage at Coco beach nobody brought it to his notice.
The garbage is mostly generated from small tourist boats moving around and also from other tourism-related activities.
Fishermen from Nerul, who carry out fishing activities 365 days a year, are the most affected by the problem as garbage gets stuck in their nets.
Nacimento from Nerul said that dolphin trips and island trip operators discard garbage in the sea and it washes up on the beach during monsoon, thereby affecting the fishing activities.
Joaquim Mendes, a member of Ramponkarancho Ekvott, informed this daily that when he laid out his net, instead of fish, loads of garbage got stuck to the net. He said it took almost 50 people to pull the net out of the water because of the garbage weight.
Nerul sarpanch Shashikala Govekar said that the fishermen are facing a lot of problems because the waters are littered with garbage. When this issue came to my notice, the panchayat inspected the littered site and wrote to the tourism minister and local MLA to clear the garbage which is lying on the beach as the panchayat does not have funds to carry out the work.
At present, the village panchayat only collects dry garbage for which a lone person has been engaged. The garbage is collected on a tricycle.
Meanwhile, the tourism department will install a highmast on the beach for the benefit of fishermen.