First, there was all the noise being made about tourists using open spaces as their own, personal campsite complete with cooking equipment. Right on its heels come reports that the Salcete beaches have it even worse considering they are now being used as open toilets.
A horrifying stench
According to the newspapers, you can’t even take a walk on the Colva-Cavelossim beach stretch thanks to the overpowering stench. The entire area has become terrible as its come to the notice of authorities that people, be they locals, tourists or even shack staff, are using the sand dunes to defecate in the open.
President of the Shack Owners Welfare Society of Goa, Cruz Cardozo, said it is easy to blame the shack staff. He also questioned the lack of facilities for Drishti lifeguards all along this stretch of beach. “Also, the government does not pay attention to the tourists who come to the state in droves in buses and other vehicles, who tend to use the beach for urination and defecation,” he said.
“After receiving complaints about open defecation along the beach stretch, I inspected the Cavelossim beach. Here I found women relieving themselves in the shrubbery on the sand dunes. But shacks do not engage women and they have makeshift toilets,” he added.
How will the authorities solve the problem of open toilets?
The Goa State Pollution Control Board which is the authority for keeping all this in check did raise questions. They asked how and where all the human waste that is supposed to be collected in tanks in the makeshift toilets, was disposed of.
Pollution board member secretary Levinson Martins said there are no proper communications between the tourism department and the pollution board over the responsibility to monitor proper disposal of such waste.
Tourism director Menino D’Souza told TOI that his department is only the licensing authority. According to him, pollution falls in the domain of the board as “they have the equipment and infrastructure to monitor and carry out inspections”.
One shack owner, Edwin Barreto said the government should have a sewage pipeline or connect shacks to the Jica sewerage system along the coastal belt.
A junior environmental engineer with the pollution board, Digvijay Dessai said that after cyclone Ockhi, the board had inspected a shack in Sernabatim and given directions on disposal of toilet waste. He said human waste disposal is not being monitored at present. He did add that they would inspect the Colva-Cavelossim beach belt in the next few days.