Friday, 12 March 2010

Colva Updates

Subject: Colva Sewage Crisis
(ref below article ) The Sewage crisis in Colva should not come as a surprise, particularly to the residents of Colva. In-discriminate issuance of licenses to commercial projects without strict norms and also approvals to so many un-necessary housing including mega-projects, are undoubtedly the key factors that have created this Mess. The Local MLA's and specific corrupt panchayat members have ignored the interests of the village to realise their huge illegitimate profits. Local Activists have been warning of this crisis for a long time but unfortunately (with the exception of some), most Colva residents & non-residents, like their counterparts in other parts of Goa appear indifferent to the ruthless destruction of their village. I hope all Colva residents & non-residents wake-up before it is too late and save their beautiful village, from the clutches from corrupt politicians, builders and other destructive elements!! Recently various villagers were in the news protesting on the CD issue, whilst I appreciate that this issue was offensive and hurt the sentiments, surely we know that there are more serious issues facing the village and I hope we use the same passion to fight the genuine threats facing the village. Arwin Mesquita, UAE.
Sewage choking Colva
MARGAO, MARCH 11 Welcome to the world famous tourist village, Colva. The village may boast of attracting large number of tourists at its beach, but the government appears blind to the unsanitary environment plaguing the village in recent times.The sewage disposal has come to haunt the locals and the panchayat, even as the village is already grappling with the tones of garbage generated by hotels and restaurants and a growing number of housing colonies.An inspection of the village countryside on Thursday revealed the worst fears of local activists. Storm water drains have been conveniently used by the hotel establishments to discharge sewage and waste waters.That’s not all. Believe it or not, a traditional road – used by the local residents — lay submerged under sewage and waste water, forcing the locals to take an alternate road.Neither the Sarpanch Agnela Borges, nor the panchayat secretary, who accompanied the members of the Colva Civic and Consumer Forum during the site-inspection, had an answer to the discharge of waste waters in the drains and open space.As convenor of the Colva Civic Forum Judith Almeida and other activists demanded stringent action against the hotel establishments, Sarpanch Angela promised to convene a special meeting to discuss the emerging health hazard before cracking a whip against erring hotel and restaurant owners.Pointing to a garbage dump, Judith termed the situation as a mini-Sonsodo in Colva, with neither the local body nor the government finding any permanent solution to the garbage woes.“The garbage situation is going from bad to worse. How much more time would the local body and the authorities require for finding a solution?” she demanded to know.At another location, garbage was found burnt by the establishment owners in the absence of any garbage disposal mechanism. “Will the authorities open their eyes at least now? The Tourism Department should open it eyes to the menace. Certainly, the department does not invite tourists to look at the filth and garbage,” she added.Sarpanch Angela is not averse to issuing show cause notices to the erring establishments and has drawn up a scheduled to issue the notices within eight days time. “I am sending notices to the establishments inspected today. Besides, the matter will be placed before the meeting (of panchayat members) to work out a long-term solution,” the sarpanch added.Judith, however, said that the Forum activists would wait for 15 days; she threatened to gherao the panchayat members and knock the doors of the Judiciary, if no action was taken against the erring establishments during the 15 days. “In the past, the Forum had approached the High Courts to wake up the authorities from deep slumber. Only the High Court can give the hapless residents solace and relief from the emerging health hazard in the village,” Judith asserted, while demanding revocation of licences of the erring establishments

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