Not Just St Inez Creek, but Ourem Creek also Faces Pollution

Posted in: Global Water News, Water Contamination
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(Photo credit: SURAJ NANDREKAR)

Article courtesy of  Suraj Nandrekar | November 10, 2015 | herald-goa.com | Shared as educational material

The stench that pervades over Patto and areas of Fontainhas emanates from CCP’s composting-cum-storage centre at Patto, but few realize that the facility has also been polluting the waters of the Ourem Creek that runs adjacent to the site.

While the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) is yet to take a final decision on the beautification or cleaning of St Inez Creek, it has now come to the fore that the Corporation is making no efforts to stop the contamination of water in the Ourem Creek.

Over the past few years, the Ourem Creek has been slowly getting contaminated by water flowing from CCP’s composting-cum-storage centre at Patto. Locals say that besides the foul smell that emanates from the plant, there is no collection tank for the waste water, which flows directly into the creek harming the water body. 

Though there has been no analysis of the quality of the water in the creek, locals and environmentalists are certain that water is getting polluted which could lead to the contamination of the River Mandovi, as the creek’s waters flow into this river with is hardly a km from the site of CCP’s composting-cum storage facility.

Around 11 months ago, Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) had issued directions to CCP, viz-a-viz contamination of water in the Ourem Creek due to the composting facilities at Patto, but no action has been taken till now.

GSPCB, in a letter dated January 12, 2015, had asked CCP to cover the composted material which was stacked in an open area and to make arrangement so that waste water does not flow into the creek.

The board had also asked CCP to provide a collection tank for waste water, in the plant and dispose the same in an environmentally sound manner.

CCP was asked to stop dumping of bio-medical waste, non-biodegradable waste and carcass of dead animals at open site.

GSPCB also proposed that the plant be re-located, and storage/segregation of garbage be done away from the creek in a proper enclosure with a proper collection system.

GSPCB chairman Jose Manuel Noronha in the letter had said that a similar letter was issued to CCP earlier in 2014 and they have submitted a compliance report, however, when the Board team inspected the site on October 23, 2014 things were far from changed.

“There was still a heap of composted manure stacked at the entrance of shed covered with sirpoline, no covering was provided for the composted material and binds were observed on the heaps and slight foul odour was emitted at the site at the time of inspection,” the letter reads.

CCP Engineer Sachin Ambe when contacted said that the corporation was seized of the matter and are working on improving the situation. “We are awaiting for the NGT order on the site behind Hira Petrol Pump. Once that comes we will be ready to shift,” he said.

However, he said, “We are making all efforts to see that the water does not flow into the Ourem Creek.”
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