While eastern areas of the capital city ~Mala-Fontainhas and Corte de Oiteiro, are just recovering from a bout of water contamination due to sewerage seepage into potable water distribution lines, the picture on the other side of the city is not something to sing about.
Officials at the Public Works Department, Division III have disclosed that almost every day the office receives complaints of clogged sewerage chambers ~on an average three a day. If not attended to in time this could result in overflow and seep into water supply lines.
While last week’s case of contamination was the third worst since 2002, minor cases of contamination have been reported at regular intervals. Charles D’Souza, an engineer of PWD sub-division II of division III said,
“The onus rests entirely on households to maintain their sewage chambers. It is not possible for us to go on maintaining sewage chambers at household and colony level.”
The PWD official pointed out that sewerage chambers are so badly maintained that it is no surprise to find sewer discharge posing hazards to public health. All kinds of waste from plastic bags to cloth, feeder bottles and metal objects are also found in the clogged chambers and this causes the blockage.
Hurriedly constructed houses and buildings owners have also not cared for proper construction of sewerage chambers which requires proper concretisation and curing at the initial stages. “This also results in early deterioration of sewerage chambers and sometimes even damage by rodents,” said D’Souza.
The PWD however is not shifting the blame entirely on Panjim’s populace.
“We are also conscious of the fact that our main line which is more than four decades old also needs to be changed,” said Dilip Dhavalikar, Executive Engineer, PWD – Division III.
According to him, this line laid in 1969 was meant to cater to a population of 30,000 people, which has now doubled. “We still use the same line which now caters to a population of 60,000,” he pointed out.
The concrete pipeline is now a concern , particularly during monsoons when it is unable to cope with the pressure of storm water which infiltrates causing an overflow into gutters and drains at various locations in the city. [H]