Locals fear diesel seepage into natural water bodies

Even as Ponda Police has registered an offence against the bus driver involved in the mishap that claimed the life of a lecturer, residents of Konem have raised fears over a possible threat to natural water resources due to a diesel leakage from the tanker.

It may be recalled that a speeding Ponda-bound passenger bus collided with a tanker loaded with diesel along the highway at Konem near Farmagudi Police outpost on Wednesday evening.

The impact of the accident was such that thousands of litres of diesel spilled into the valley. Fire fighters later sprayed dispersant on the diesel to stop the tanker from catching fire.

When contacted, neither Ponda Police nor Ponda fire station were able to ascertain how much diesel had seeped into the ground.

According to sources, around 1,000 litres of diesel from the tanker were pumped into another tanker stationed along the road till late Wednesday night and a further 6,000 litres were pumped out by Thursday afternoon.

“I don’t think there will be any problem as diesel was removed from the tanker. There was some seepage but I don’t know the quantity. I was at the site at night when diesel was pumped into another tanker and there are no complaints from the villagers,” said Veling Priol Cuncoliem Sarpanch Damodar Naik. Konem area comes under the jurisdiction of Veling Priol Cuncoliem Panchayat.

Meanwhile, Ponda Police has registered an offence against the bus driver, Sayyad Nadaf, who is undergoing treatment at GMC Hospital. [H]