Wednesday, 23 August, 2017
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Exasperated Areal locals seek govt help to curb pollution

Sao Jose de Areal villagers under the banner of Social Justice Forum have sought the intervention of the government and Goa State Pollution Control Board to curb the carbon dust pollution in the village within a time-bound manner and save the residents from health problems.

13th August 2017, 11:41 Hrs

the goan I network
MARGAO

In this connection, the Forum will organise a silent peaceful prayer and introspection in the village after the flag hoisting ceremony at the gram panchayat to demand freedom from carbon dust pollution. The forum pointed out that breathing clean air, demanding freedom from carbon pollution and a healthy and save environment is their fundamental right. The Forum also lamented that the GSPCB is yet to make public the inspection report and the extent of pollution at the carbon factory.
Addressing the media on Saturday, forum president Alcina Fernandes demanded that the government and GSPCB direct the factory to install the equipments to curb pollution. "All these years, we have been suffering silently. We had meetings with the factory management, Chairman, worker's union, panchayat, ex-MLA and have discussed the matter at the gram sabha several times, but no positive action is visible to control the pollution by the officials. We have written several letters and have carried out several meetings highlighting our grievances, but the authorities are not paying any attention towards the grievances," Alcina informed.
Tenny Fernandes told the media that the carbon dust particles have allegedly settled in the houses, church, schools and everywhere in the village, posing a health hazard to the villagers. "The dust has settled in the nearby agricultural fields affecting the paddy cultivation. This has to stop and the GSPCB should ensure the factory installs the pollution control equipment," he said.
A villager Rodney Travasso demanded to know why the GSPCB had till date not made public the report of the inspection carried out at the factory some six months ago. "The GSPCB had installed equipments to monitor the pollution caused by the factory. But, our plea to make public the inspection report has fallen on deaf ears till date despite the gram sabha demanding that GSPCB lay bare the contents of the inspection report," he said.
Rodney also took objection to the statement made by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar when the issue was raised in the just concluded Assembly question. "Parrikar stated in the House that the factory can be shut down if the people want. We fail to understand what the Chief Minster meant by his statement. Areal villagers had till date not demanded the closure of the carbon factory, but have been knocking the doors of the authorities to contain pollution," Rodney added.

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