‘Garbage dumped into river by offshore casinos a health hazard’

May 6th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 6 (IANS) Garbage dumped over the years by the offshore casinos into the Mandovi river has been drastically increasing the organic content in the water, polluting fish and other marine organisms, a waste management expert said Wednesday.
Joe D’Souza, who has been hired as a consultant by the Panaji municipal corporation to handle the burgeoning garbage woes of the city, said that the garbage dumped by the offshore casino operators into the Mandovi river, which flows alongside the capital, could serve as a serious health hazard, if dumping continues unabatedly.

Speaking to reporters at a waste management presentation at the city corporation Wednesday, D’Souza said that the casino operators should be forced to maintain a garbage log, like a waste oil log, which is mandatory for every vessel.

“We should know how much garbage goes into the river and whether it has been treated at all. The garbage and other organic content would pollute the river like slow poison,” D’Souza said.

“The municipal corporation currently has no way of checking the unregulated dumping of garbage into the river,” he said.

“Something like swine flu can still be arrested. But can you imagine a waterborne disease with the river as an epicenter. That would be disaster for Panaji and Goa,” he said.

The issue of garbage dumping by offshore casinos had also featured in the Goa legislative assembly sometime back, when Panaji legislator and Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said that nearly 1,000 people visited each of the six casinos every night, which meant that untreated excrement of nearly 6,000 people was being dumped into the river each night, other than garbage generated in restaurants.

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