On Thursday, March 2, 2023, the Department of Water Resources undertook the inspection of multiple wells for groundwater contamination. The officials collected water samples from several wells in Margao, Navelim and Comba which will be tested in a laboratory and the results will reveal the purity of the groundwater table.
The convenor of the Shadow Council of Margao, Savio Coutinho, alleged that there was seepage of sewage into the groundwater table and, therefore, the wells in Margao and nearby areas have become contaminated.
He also alleged that the faulty sewage line has led to the seepage of raw sewage into the groundwater. The Department of Water Resources officer at the site informed reporters that the department’s team has collected water samples from several wells, and they will be tested in their laboratory. Only after the test results will the final conclusion be derived.
Individuals living in Goa who are concerned about protecting and preserving the groundwater table from contamination were firm on stopping the seepage and release of raw sewage in the nullhas.
Sanjiv Khandelwal of Sensible Earth feels that the colonial concept of the centralisation of the water supply has led to the non-usage of well water. In the past, people in India would fetch water from their wells, and they were not dependent on the government for water. But the centralisation of water has led to the neglect of these wells near houses.
Furthermore, buildings also have a centralised water connection as well as a centralised sewerage system. The proximity of these buildings to the wells increases the chances of the well water being contaminated, according to Khandelwal.
Vishant Shetye, a businessman from Vasco, said, “It is our duty to protect these wells. The release of raw sewage into the drains should be stopped so that groundwater table contamination is prevented. Fair usage of well water has to be maintained to keep these wells clean and usable.
Shalaka Kambli, a social activist, opined that there are several water bodies and wells in the Vasco area which have been neglected. She said, “In the past, locals were dependent on these wells for their daily consumption, but after tap water supply began in most houses, these wells were neglected.”
Kambli also mentioned that there is a need to stop the release of raw sewage into the streams, or else there won't be any natural source of water for our posterity.