|June 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm #5457|
MARGAO: The construction of a market-cum-commercial complex by the Cortalim-Quelossim panchayat at Thana, Cortalim has caused concern among locals over the potential environmental damage and health hazards that could be posed by the project.
Locals pointed out that the water table in the area is low and that the construction site is in proximity to some drinking water wells and underground fresh water springs.
“Water levels have begun to show within less that a meter of digging the pits for the foundation,” a villager told TOI, preferring anonymity, adding that the drinking water wells have already gone dry, thus indicating that the water table has depleted.
Locals also expressed fears that the septic tanks and soak pits constructed for the toilets at the construction site would result in contamination of the ground water.
“The overflowing soak pits on account of low water table poses a grave health hazard to the residents of the locality. If no measures are taken to address the issue, vector borne diseases will spread in the village giving rise to an epidemic,” a local said, adding that he has already written to the Cortalim primary health centre (PHC) over the issue.
Sources said that acting upon the complaints from locals, the Cortalim PHC conducted a site inspection of the project, which confirmed that that water table was low.
Subsequently, the PHC wrote to the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (Gsidc), which is executing the project to construct a sewage treatment plant at the new market complex.
“During the site inspection it is observed that the toilet which is constructed for the use of the labourers on the construction site is only 12 m from the existing drinking water well, which needs to be shifted beyond 20m,” the PHC wrote to the Gsidc on April 20, giving Gsidc seven days to take necessary action. Villagers pointed out that no action has been taken till date.
Source/Reference: Times of India, “Locals fear threat to environment from market complex at Cortalim“