|August 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm #3772|
Black powdery dust emanating from Sesa Goa’s pig iron plant at Amona filled the air for most part of Saturday and entered houses in a radius of 1.5km, largely in Navelim and partly in Amona villages in Bicholim taluka.
Villagers alleged that the continuous deposition of particulate matter, stained their belongings and contaminated food and water.
Saturday’s pollution sparked off anger, as residents in Durigwada, Bharoniwada, Pelwada, Katarwada in Navelim and some areas of Amona felt the brunt of the pollution.
“Thick black layers of powder are polluting our food and water. In the last couple of days we haven’t been able to eat or drink anything that is not polluted,” 45-year-old Durigwada resident Kazal Kamlakant Gawas said.
The thick particulate matter filled the air and not only fell on houses, vehicles and vegetation, but entered houses and contaminated food. The aerial pollution commenced early Saturday and continued till late evening triggering health fears.
“Our house is coated with black powder and residents’ peace of mind has been disturbed due to the air and noise pollution,” 50-year-old Pradeep Navelkar said.
When the aerial pollution did not stop on Saturday afternoon, agitated villagers informed Navelim sarpanch Gopinath Gauns, who held discussions with Sesa Goa officials on the matter.
The officials inspected the site and after verifying the villagers allegations, assured them that they would solve the problem.
Sesa pig iron plant associate-general manager for safety Mahesh Mahajan, when contacted said, “We have initiated steps to minimize the problems and the situation is coming under control.”
Gauns also called local MLA Pramod Sawant and briefed him about it. Sources said Sawant instructed villagers to lodge a complaint with Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) and assured villagers that he would look into the matter.
Speaking to TOI, Gauns said, “Villagers have brought to my notice that they could not eat or drink anything as it is polluted by thick black powder which is entering their houses. We are apprehensive as it is polluting our food, water and air.”
Sawant said, “Villagers are affected by pollution from the plant, as the company appears not to have taken adequate precautions.” GSPCB has been asked to inspect the area and prepare a report with recommendations for curbing further pollution, he added. Villagers said the pollution on Sunday appeared less.
A section of the villagers have set a deadline of Wednesday, August 22, for the company to solve the problem. “We don’t want this plant in our villager as it is spoiling our ecology and environment. If the problem is not solved by August 22, we will hold protests to seek justice for our villagers,” Gauns said.
Source/Reference: Times of India, “Pollutants land in food in Navelim,Amona”