Sanitation programme makes slow headway in rural Goa

Panaji, June 25, 2013: Majority of the people of Goa are  still dependant on septic tanks and soak pits to  dispose of wastewater  as only 46640 households have connections for the underground sewerage system.
This overdependence on septic tanks, soak pits and other chambers give rise to health hazards like contamination of groundwater or drinking water as there is lack of adequate absorbing capacity of the soil. A negative fallout of growing urbanisation of the state has been that a lot of sewage water is let into open drains.
The contamination of groundwater at Calangute, a world famous tourist spot, is case in point. Calangute, the richest village panchayat, is combating to deal with wastewater. In fact, the Goa State Pollution Control Board has declared Calangute groundwater highly contaminated.
Sometime back sources in the Calangute village panchayat had told this reporter that not a single establishment in the village was connected to the sewerage network and the wastewater was mostly let into septic tanks.
The state sanitation programme has not been able to make a mark in handling wastewater in the state as in the last three decades the PWD along with the Sulabh International managed to build only 97000 toilets in most parts of rural Goa. But it must be noted here that same number of toilets will have to be built to accomplish the mission.
Major towns of the state -- Panaji, Margao and Vasco – have been covered by the underground sewerage network.
As per the Census 2011, 257338 households have latrine facilities in Goa, of which 46640 households have connections for the underground sewerage system.  On the other hand, 182224 households have septic tanks, 10479 households have other chambers and 14177 households have pit latrines.
However, a PWD engineer, who deals with the implementation of the state sanitation programme, claimed that the state had made progress as annually nearly 2000 to 3000 toilets are built in rural areas.
In 2011-12, nearly 1064 toilets were built under the programme, while nearly 1168 toilets were constructed in 2012-13. The target for 2013-14 is construction of around 3857 toilets in rural   Goa.
He said that four division -- III, XVII, IX and XX -- have been entrusted with the task of identifying beneficiaries through village panchaayats. Once beneficiaries are identified the project is executed by the Sulabh International.
The construction of each toilet unit costs nearly ` 22500, of which nearly ` 7000 is funded under the central total sanitation campaign or Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan   for improving sanitation in villages.
The PWD often faces problem of land acquisition for the toilet construction as some of the land where people live is tenanted property. (Source: Taurappa Lamani, The NavHind Times)

  • Content Type: Goa

25-06-2013 | Posted by Admin