|June 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm #5450|
It is considered the lifeline of the village, but the nullah at Vollant-Thana in Cortalim has been converted into a garbage dumping site and it could soon turn into a major health hazard in the area. A local health official has now confirmed that sewage from the nullah could also pollute the Zuari River.
Not only is plastic waste choking the nullah, but waste water from the kitchens in neighbouring areas has also found its way to the nullah. Of further concern is the allegation that some residents have also let out their sewage into the nullah, thereby increasing the risk of contamination of the nullah.
The 2-km long nullah had gained its importance in 2002 when then Cortalim MLA late Matanhy Saldanha had desilted the nullah at an amount of Rs 50 lakh. Shortly after the nullah was desilted and the embankments rebuilt, some unscrupulous elements built shops and rooms in the spaces between the road and the nullah embankment.
Incidentally, the beautification of the nullah had been in Matanhy’s scheme of things in the 2012 elections.
With the situation turning unbearable due to stench emanating from the nullah and admit mounting complaints from residents, then Cortalim Primary Health Officer Dr Mariano Godinho had issued notices to some residents to stop releasing waste and sewage into the nullah, failing which he threatened to disconnect water and electricity connection to their residences.
While the erring residents were forced to restrict their activity within the confinements by building septic tanks and soak pits, it now appears that the some residents have again taken law into their hands and have started releasing waste into the nullah.
Admitting the need to put an end to the problem, present Cortalim Health officer Dr Succour Quadros informed Herald that he has already inspected the site some days ago.
“Yes, I have inspected the place along with local panch, Anita Kenkre, and we have also convened a meeting with the residents,” Dr Quadros told Herald.
“I have also informed the Cortalim-Quelossim Panchayat to issue notices to residents to put an end to the menace.”
Dr Quadros confirmed that the flow of waste and sewage from the Nullah could also pollute the Zuari River.
“It is necessary that the local panchayat also participates in the exercise as it is the local body. I have also brought it to the notice of our local MLA Alina Saldanha and she has assured me full support to promote sanitation in the village,” he added.
Dr Quadros, however, made it clear that if the panchayat fails to cooperate with the health authorities, he along with the help of local panchas would ensure that the nullah is restored to its past glory after the monsoons.
The local panch feels that the panchayat has not done enough to address the problem.
“I had asked the panchayat to initiate action in the matter and I was assured that notices would be issued to the erring parties. It is a month that nothing has been done,” said ward panch Anita Kenkre.
Source/Reference: Herald, “Cortalim nullah: A major health hazard in the making“