‘Offshore casinos dumping untreated sewage in Mandovi river’

February 5th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Feb 5 (IANS) After alleging fraud and corruption in the licensing for offshore casinos, the opposition has accused the controversial offshore gambling vessel managements of dumping untreated sewage in the Mandovi river. Speaking during question hour, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said the half a dozen casino vessels parked in the Mandovi river have no sewage disposal systems in place.

“Imagine this scenario. Nearly 1,000 people visit each casino every night and there are six casinos. Leave alone garbage, untreated excrement of nearly 6,000 people is being dumped into the river each night, thanks to these casinos,” Parrikar said. The river was being polluted and there was no mechanism in place to regulate the dumping of sewage in the river, he added.

“The Mandovi is the principal water-body in Goa. The capital city Panaji is dependent on the river. This dumping of untreated sewerage is causing enormous damage to the marine environment,” Parrikar said.

The Congress-led coalition government has been on the back-foot on the offshore casino issue ever since the BJP started grilling the treasury benches during the winter session of the Goa legislative assembly.

Under pressure, the Goa government has already agreed to review its casino policy, which would also involve moving the casinos from the Mandovi river and parking them deep into the Arabian sea between 1 km and 5 km from the shore.

The Goa government has issued licenses to seven offshore casinos within the last decade.

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