Residents have claimed that seepage of diesel following a road mishap last month has led to the contamination of wells at Konem in Veling-Priol.
While some have complained of body rash after using the contaminated water, others have stopped using the well water for their arecanut plantations.It may be recalled that a woman had died and 24 persons were injured a month ago when a passenger bus and a fuel tanker collided with each other at Konem-Farmagudi. The impact was such that the tanker carrying about 12,000 litres of diesel fell into the valley and diesel began to leak in the low-lying areas.
According to sources, about 8,000 litres of diesel was pumped into another tanker, but vast quantities of diesel had already seeped into the ground.
“A few days after the accident, two wells in the village were contaminated due to diesel. A fine layer of diesel is clearly visible on the water surface. There are about 20 houses in the vicinity and almost every house has a well,” said Kamlakant Satarkar of Konem.
The families are mostly dependent on well water for daily use and for arecanut plantations.
Water contamination has caused hardship to two families at Konem as they have to walk at least 100 metres away to bring water.
“I got a body rash when I used the contaminated water to bathe. The water is unfit to drink and we haven’t used it for our arecanut plantation as well,” informed Satarkar.
When contacted, Priol-Veling-Cuncoliem Sarpanch Damodar Naik said: “We have already written to the Goa State Pollution Control Board regarding the well contamination.”
“We had also brought the matter to the notice of the PWD and the well was cleaned by pumping out water a couple of times. We will request the PWD once again to clean the well,” said Naik.
The concern over the contaminated well water has prompted two families to apply for a PWD water connection.
“We only used water from the well all these years, but we are now forced to apply for a PWD water connection. I don’t know what is going to happen to my arecanut plantation, as it has been without water for the last many days,” said Satarkar. [H]