Wed, 11 Dec, 2019

Challenges of marine pollution before Goans

It’s time for people to challenge and fight the lackadaisical approach of both central and state govt agencies for placing Goans in a quandary time & again

Story: Dr | Joe | 04th December 2019, 02:32 Hrs

Dr Joe D’Souza

The Goan coast seems to have strange attractions to stranded ships. And so we have another Nu Shi Nalini which grounded off the coast of Goa at the Marivel beach at Dona Paula since October 24, 2019. The Kerala Govt had rejected the docking of the ship in the Kochi waters. As to why the MPT at Mormugoa allowed the disabled ship, to be welcomed into the Goan waters during the monsoons is not only criminal but also an environmentally disastrous move.

Due to such stranded ships, the ecosystem and biodiversity of our marine environment have been regularly challenged and destroyed by the central government agencies like MPT and the central maritime services, which regularly dump disabled vessels onto Goan coasts much to the detriment of the health and economy of Goans.

Today, disaster is in the making created by MPT and CoP for allowing Nu Shi Nalini to enter Goa, and this must be detested and challenged for criminal conspiracy of the central agency. The CoP of Goa, like a headless jumping chicken, together with the obliging GSPCB and corrupt Goan politicians accepted the disabled ship to enter Goan water on July 17, 2019. This was a conspiracy of MPT against the interest of the Goan people.

The ship which was grounded off Kochi in June 2018, with several leakages, engine failure and fire was enough grounds for MPT as well as the central maritime agencies to refuse berthing of the crippled ship in Goan waters. Again, the NGOs in Kerala worked hard to ensure that the deteriorated inflammable cargo was not offloaded in Kochi as the Kerala government was firm not to allow the leakages to pollute the pristine Kerala coast. The Swiss company for whom the naphtha was a consignment, knowing that the mineral oil was contaminated with oil-degrading bacteria and unfit for industrial use, abandoned the consignment and refused to pay for the costs.

The laid-back Goan populace is awaiting remedial solace from supernatural powers. Hence, after three months of berth shelter to the ship in despair, the culprit-in-chief, the MPT authorities dumped the crippled but chemically loaded vessel into high seas to finally force cyclone Kyarr to push the ship off the Marivel beach and threaten the biodiversity of River Mandovi and the people of Dona Paula, Panaji and its surroundings. The vapours of naphtha would have severe ill effects on the human body. The skin, eyes, throat, brain, respiratory and digestive tract of living beings would be adversely affected. The more the ship stays more would be the damage to our society as the ship would sink further into the sand and its removal more challenging.

Goans know too well that River Princess challenged our society from June 6, 2000 to October 2014 and crippled our tourism, altered sand morphology and adversely affected marine biodiversity due to regular oil spillages. A couple of years earlier, the ship M V Lucky Seven was grounded off the Miramar beach on 16.07.2017. Also, the M V Qing which was stranded unmanned at the MPT berth, and was a threat because of its oil spillages.

During the time I was the consultant I had insisted that the MPT should furnish entire details of hazardous cargo entering the Goan waters for berthing and servicing to the GSPCB for its planning and use in disaster management strategies.

It is extremely unfortunate that in spite of my proactive recommendations to the GSPCB, to monitor the hazardous cargo entering into Goa, the incompetent GSPCB along with the CoP administration did nothing to strengthen our scientific submission that hazardous cargo entering Goan waters, especially facilitated by MPT, be informed to the scientists of the Board. This was imperative because the scientists of GSPCB could initiate remedial actions, only when disasters occur at sea and are well informed. The Government of Goa has been inviting disasters into Goa far too often and placing Goans into a severe health risk.

A stitch in time saves nine and the government and the people of Goa are a laid-back lot as they fail to learn from the challenges posed to our ecology time and again, and invite disasters unto themselves. It is time for the people of Goa to challenge and fight the lackadaisical approach of both central and state government agencies who have placed Goans in a quandary, time and again and for too frequently. Why are we accepting formalin-laden fish, pigmented fruits and vegetables and adulterated consumables?

Come on Goans wake up to realities on the competence of all those in Goa governance. Do we realize that in Goa we create disasters regularly and then spend crores of the taxpayers’ money in disaster management, which too is a well-crafted scientific fraud. The public money, specifically in Goa is never utilized in genuine welfare measures and in the improvement of quality of life of Goans.

It is a shame that we are poisoning our rivers, biomagnifying pollutants in our seas, rivers, fields and air too. We often ponder as to how cancers, kidney ailments, pancreatitis, asthmas, respiratory ailments, etc. are growing alarmingly in Goa. No doubt, in Goa we are facing environmental challenges and disasters as the entire crop of the elected legislators would fail miserably in any written or IQ tests assigned to them to qualify. Goa environment is in dire straits - garbage woes, sewage-contaminated waters and stranded vessels would slowly kill us all, due to incompetent men in governance over our lives and livelihood.

The challenges before Goans are immense. Are we prepared to take our cross and fight for our survival?. Should we allow pollution to kill us like poisoned rats? Let us be real and understand that dancing during Carnivals, Shigmos and other festivals is just a disgusting way to keep off from the imminent dangers we Goans are in today. We require a revolution - means taking the challenges affecting Goa head-on, by our own sweat and blood. Poisoned Goa is threatening each one of us personally.

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