PWD upset over move to de-notify land at Salpem
Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado’s move to de-notify the land admeasuring 2.53 lakh sq mts in and around the Salpem Lake has not found faour with the PWD, with a Superintending engineer insisting on the land acquisition for long term requirement in the interest of both Margao and Navelim.
Given the situation, the ball is now back in the court of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is expected to take a final call on the de-notification request by his ministerial colleague. De-notification of the Salpem Lake land was one of the election promises made by the Fisheries Minister after farmers had cried foul over the acquisition by former PWD minister Churchill Alemao. The land acquisition proceedings are presently on hold after Avertano took up cudgels for the farmers and land owners.
In a note put up by the PWD Superintending engineer, the PWD has said the existing land admeasuring 35,000 sq mts is sufficient to treat 20 MLD of sewage. But, the SC hastened to add that the generation of sewage would touch 53-60 MLD by 2040 from both Margao and Fatorda and villages in Navelim constituency.
The PWD’s logic is simple: It explained that the PWD would require one lakh sq mts to treat 60 MLD of sewage by 2040. And, considering that the present site runs parallel to the River Sal, nearly one lakh sq mts of land will be prohibited for construction taken into account the CRZ rules in force”.
The PWD official pointed out there would be no place for sewage from Rumdamol and Davorlim, besides the villages of Aquem-Baixo, Navelim and Telaulim for discharge in the sewerage plant. “The STP plant area is technically located and will benefit both Margao and Navelim. For future growth of Margao, Fatorda and Navelim, we will have to go for alternate site which is not technically suitable,” he added.
The PWD cautioned that in the absence of additional area, contamination of ground water table would continue and the streams and nullahs will be filled with filth and waste water leading to mosquito breeding, affecting soil fertility and turning Salpem lake into a septic tank, degrading the river Sal. [H]