Bicholim river turning into a gutter

22 Apr 2013 Posted by: Water Network Research

Bicholim river, one of the important tributaries of River Mandovi is on its way of being turned into a big gutter due to apathy from the government as well as from the communities and if no serious efforts are done at the earliest to protect the river, there is hardly any hope for the survival of this lifeline of Bicholim town.

Once upon a time, this town was rich in perennial water bodies and a thriving natural habitat for Kingfishers. The onset of mining activities on a massive scale in Mayem, Lamgao areas have caused serious degradation of the rich forest in the area thereby destroying ground water table inherited by the town.

Lamgao was known during the ancient times as 'Lamhagram' means village of Buddhist priests. The rock-cut caves carved out for meditation by the Buddhist priests stand testimony to this.

Pratap Govekar, from Lamgao says, "Our area was forested and was rich in perennial water bodies. Vaghpet in Lamgao and worship of Vaghrodev tells us that the land was known for tigers. Today, the natural heritage is on the verge of extinction. The lake of Mhatrai is heavily silted, streams are degraded."

Environmental activist Ramesh Gauns, who resides at Pazwada in Bicholim said, "Agriculture and horticulture was the backbone of my town. Worship of Vaghrodev at Lamgao and Avachitwada tells us that once the tiger was resident of the area. Dhabdhabo, Nagzar all indicate that my land was blessed by water resources. But, today mining activities have forced us to depend totally on Sankhali and Padocem water treatment plants."

Naresh Kadkade from Bicholim says, "We are becoming victim of floods during the rainy season every year. Many times, businessmen suffer heavy losses due to entry of flood water in the market. Our river is heavily silted. Half-hearted attempts to desilt river have failed to prevent flooding." On April 4, Bicholim MLA Naresh Sawal put a calling attention in the assembly session to highlight the pathetic condition of the river.

Alina Saldanha, minister of environment and forests replied, "Government has already initiated several steps for curbing water pollution of the river. Goa state pollution control board, every month, takes samples of water and it has indicated presence of various pollutants. Bicholim municipality must restrain the release of untreated sewage water in the river and also has to conduct awareness to stop water pollution of the river."

April 15, 2013

Javascript is required to view this map.
Please feel free to submit your feedback below

Enter the characters shown in the image.