Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shirgao water tank polluted by mining activities

Sighting danger to the newly constructed water tank at Shirgao,
residents of Shirgao-Bicholim have expressed anger over the mining
work carried out in close proximity to the tank.

“We always face severe water shortage and despite this, the mining
company has started its work close to the newly constructed water
tank, thereby posing serious threat to it,” complained Chandan Gaonkar
of Shirgao.

It may be recalled that people from Shrigao face acute water shortage
even during rainy season, as the village is completely surrounded by
mining. The problem was serious, as the village had only one water
tank that supplied water to the entire village.

“We are facing water shortage since the last over four years and the
water was supplied through tankers. At times, even during rainy
season, we had to struggle for water,” said Gaonkar.

After several attempts, the PWD constructed a new water tank with a
capacity of about 300 cubic mts of water. The tank was inaugurated by
PWD Minister Churchill Alemao on June 20. The tank did serve the
purpose and it provided water to the people.

But, recently the mining activities close to the water tank has become
a matter of concern for the villagers.

“The mining activities are going on at a distance of about 150 mtrs
from the tank and in few days, they will come so close that they would
damage the tank,” informed the villagers.

Says another villager, Eknath Gaonkar: “If this happens, then we will
have to face the same problem we were facing for all these years.”
The villagers, who have now become suspicious about the work of the
PWD, sought to know why tanks are build near the mining.

The tanks have already started showing small cracks due to heavy
mining work carried out in the area and the villagers feel that the
PWD might shift the tank, causing huge financial loss to the

“It is surprising how mining activities could be carried out in the
government property and if this is allowed, we will again face water
shortage problem,” said Eknath.

Samir Umarye

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