Capt. Venzy Viegas vows to protect the Sal river on World Environment Day

Goemkarponn Desk

BENAULIM: The Aam Aadmi Party Benaulim MLA Capt. Venzy Viegas on Sunday took the pledge along with Congress Margao MLA Digambar Kamat to conserve the Sal River on the occasion of World Environment Day.

The Sal river was neglected for decades. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had in 2015 identified the Sal river stretch at Navelim as one of the 302 polluted river stretches across the country based on bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels – a key indicator of organic pollution showing water quality.

Viegas said, “The river Sal, and the quality of its water, is of paramount importance to the economic and social well-being of the whole taluka (municipality) of Salcette. The quality of the water of this river is lowered due to severe pollution, mainly by non-industrial and non-toxic organic material, causing a massive eutrophication of this water mass”.

Adding he said, “This inflow of organic pollutants is caused by leakage from agriculture, the dumping of agricultural waste, the dumping of organic waste from houses and hotels and the uncontrolled inflow of untreated waste water. As a consequence of this, the extensive growth of Salvinia (Salvinia molestes) aquatic weed plants, at some parts of the season for large parts of the river completely covers the free water surface of the river”.

“This is making fishing, navigation, the extraction of good quality water and other uses of the river almost impossible. The blocking of sunlight to the lower water levels also indirectly causes several other biological and water quality problems”, Viegas explained.

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