PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the government to complete the setting up of a sewerage treatment plant and make it fully operational by June so that there is no discharge of untreated sewage in Colva creek.
The division bench shot down the government’s plea for time till the end of the year to complete the plant and made the director of tourism personally responsible for coordinating with authorities to get the work completed without any excuses.
The court directed the director to bring it to the notice of the court if the sewerage corporation gives any unreasonable excuses in proceeding with the work.
While hearing a public interest petition filed by the Colva Civic and Consumer Forum, the court found that the sewerage treatment plant is complete to the extent of 95% and even electrical connection has been obtained and the equipment is being tested.
“The report, however, states that sewerage lines of 5.5 kms are required to be laid and out of these, sewerage lines to the extent of 2.1 kms have been laid. this means that there is a balance of 3.4 kms,” the court observed.
“By simply referring to the Covid-19 pandemic, the time is sought up to 31.12.2021. According to us, this request is not reasonable. Since, it is claimed that 95% of the plant is already set up and now, only 3.4 km of sewerage lines are to be laid, this work can certainly be completed within 3 months,” the court added.
According to directions issued by the court in the same matter in 2019 with an aim of preventing discharge of untreated sewage into Colva Creek, the government had assured the STP would be completed by October 2020 and made operational in all respects.
The court at the time had directed the sewage corporation and tourism department to expedite of construction of the public STP.