PANAJI: Alleging mismanagement of Verna Industrial Estate by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation, the Constituents of Nuvem Constituency have demanded
the Corporation to seriously inspect all plants under your jurisdiction for deficiencies in handling pollutants and following procedures.
“The land on which VIE stands today has been acquired from the villages. The failure on the part of your Corporation to implement procedures as also monitor and enforce regulations has detrimentally impacted the lives and environment of the surrounding villagers, who are facing serious health and other problems created by the Adhoc functioning of the unregulated and disorderly VIE,” teh Constituents said.
They further said that the alarming contamination of groundwater by companies in the VIE due to discharge of chemicals and other pollutants has percolated Rivers Sal and Zuari.
“This can be seen at Rassaim Loutolim, where contractors are dumping garbage and Waste indiscriminately, which has seeped downhill into the Zuari river,” they say.
They further said there is a viral video on social media captured on discharge of a frothy liquid by Lupin Pharma, downhill onto the public road, directly towards a residential area on July 2, 2022, creating panic in the village.
“It was only on 4″ July that the GSPCB collected the sample for analysis. Shockingly, the results of the test were only made available in the second week of
September,” they said.
Also, they added, it has been discovered that Ion Exchange has also been regularly emitting a toxic effluent without any hindrance or apparent checks from GIDC personnel.
“There is urgent need to set up a full-fledged station of the Goa State Pollution Control Board within the precincts of the VIE, to facilitate quick response in
such situations,” they demanded.
Constituents said that as per RTI documents, Lupin Pharma generates 600 MT of hazardous Waste per annum and only 80 MT of this is dispatched for disposal to Taloja as required.
“Where and how is the remaining chemical Waste disposed of? It appears that the authorities are not keeping track and ensuring this is done properly,” they said.
They also said that information obtained through Legislative Assembly questions states that the WRD is supplying 30 MLD raw water from SP canal through a pipeline, of which 10 MLD is supplied to VIE, 10 MLD to Zuari Agro Chemicals and 10 MLD to PWD for drinking water supply.
“It also states that, as such the entire quantity of raw water of 10 MLD as requisitioned by IDC is
provided. However, just around 3.5 Cumec Is utilised by IDC, and hence there is no shortfall of
water supplied to Verna Industrial Estate.
In this case, since adequate raw water is being
supplied to the VIE as per demand, it was perplexing why large quantities of water were being
drawn and supplied to industries in the VIE from the village wells?” they asked.
The group also questioned how GIDC had allotted land in the Verna Industrial Estate to set up a 250 TPD Waste Management Plant.
“RTI documents in our possession reveal that the plots admeasuring around 1 lakh sq. metres were handed over to the Waste Management authority without even the necessary safeguard of an EIA. It is shocking that GIDC has even accepted payment for this land without ensuring that it was suitable for the purpose,” they said.
It was also pointed out that GIDC could only allot plots to industries according to the bye-laws.
“In response, it was communicated that a 250 TPD Waste Management Plant slated to cater to 3 municipalities, and 36 villages were not acceptable to the people, especially in view of the current mismanagement and failure to enforce regulations, systems, safeguards, checks and procedures by GIDC in the Verna Industrial Estate,” they said.
The Constituents said that the inability of GIDC to efficiently manage the VIE, objections were raised to the auction being conducted by GIDC of new plots to house yet more industries.
“Unfortunately,it gives rise to the impression that GIDC is functioning as a mere figurehead authority rather than a responsible watchdog to protect the lives of the people living in the area and their environment. Hence we strongly urge you to seriously inspect all plants under your jurisdiction for deficiencies in handling pollutants and following procedures, correlating data so that records are actual facts, and probing the facts to rule out any willful manipulation in order ensure that GIDC is actually doing its job to safeguard the lives of people and the environment,” they said.