Panel takes stock of pollution at Cuncolim Industrial Estate
15th November 2018, 03:40 Hrs
the goan I network
Complaints of rampant pollution and a host of irregularities at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate, including illegal bore wells and encroachment in open spaces, welcomed the Public Undertaking Committee of the Goa Legislative Assembly headed by Chairman Digambar Kamat as the panel visited the estate on Wednesday.
Kamat and PUC members, MLAs Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa, descended at the IDC office at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate on Wednesday evening to hear the grievances of the people pertaining to the industrial estate.
As expected, the panel was greeted with complaints of pollution by the steel units as well as the fish meal plant at the industrial estate. Local MLA Clafacio Dias told the panel that carbon and ash from the steel units have settled in the neighbourhood making the life of the people staying in the vicinity miserable. He pointed out that the health of the people is at risk as there’s no mechanism in place to stop the units from polluting the environment.
The MLA also raised questions on the issue of pollution of the ground water, while calling upon the committee to ensure that pollution is contained and gradually nullified.
Clafacio later told the media that he has proposed setting up of a fire station inside the estate to cater to the needs of the estate as well as the surrounding areas.
PUC Chairman Kamat inquired about the open spaces inside the estate, specifically asking how these were converted into units. When it was brought to his notice that three units have moved into open spaces, Kamat demanded to know under what rule or law they had done this. He maintained that no open spaces could be touched as it goes against the notification of the TCP.
There are 1,45,851 square metres of open spaces which make up 15 per cent of the total area of the industrial estate. Kamat read out from the questionnaire which was sent out to the industrial estate prior to the visit and showed that the information provided was not correct.
When questioned how many workers in total were working at the estate, the IDC Field Manager said that it was 2,200, but when members of the public disagreed, the GIDC was directed to conduct a survey to find out how many employees, including Goans, each unit has.
When questioned about the bore wells, the Field Manager informed there were 39 in total and 19 were registered. He pointed out that the information in the questionnaire was 30. Citizens, however, pointed out that there were only nine bore wells registered as per the website of the WRD. It was also highlighted that the wells in the vicinity were polluted because of the illegal bore wells.
Lorna Fernandes representing the Cuncolim Civic and Consumer Forum raised issues mainly about the welfare of the labourers, including insufficient toilets, drinking water, canteen and crèche for breastfeeding mothers. She said a separate sub health centre should be created for the industrial estate to register and issue health cards to the workers. She also made a case for ESI facilities for the workers.
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