Salcete’s beaches turn into open toilets

It should be the duty of the state government to have public toilets, showers and bathing areas as part of civic amenities on all beaches. They can even charge a small fee for the use of these facilities. It will be then that we will see cleaner beaches.

A morning walk along Salcete’s Colva-Cavelossim beach stretch is quickly turning into a revolting experience as people, including tourists and allegedly shack staff, use the sand dunes as open toilets.
President of the Shack Owners Welfare Society of Goa, Cruz Cardozo, said it is easy to blame the shack staff and questioned lack of facilities for Drishti lifeguards all along this belt. 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 added.

“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,” he said.

Shacks have built makeshift toilets, Cardozo said.

The Goa State Pollution Control Board, however, raised questions over how and where the human refuse that’s collected in tanks in the makeshift toilets was disposed.

Pollution board member secretary Levinson Martins said there is no consensus between the tourism department and the pollution board over the responsibility to monitor the scientific disposal of human waste.

Tourism director Menino D’Souza told TOI that his department is only the licensing authority and that pollution falls in the domain of the board as “they have the equipment and infrastructure to monitor and carry out inspections”.

Terming the issue as serious, Martins said a mechanism is needed to be worked out between all authorities and that instead of blaming the pollution board, cases could be reported by any authority or department based on which violators could be booked under the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Health Act.

The health department can also conduct inspections, Martins said.

Shack owner Edwin Barreto said the government should have a sewage pipeline or connect shacks to the Jica sewerage system along the coastal belt.

 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 by the board, but said they would inspect the Colva-Cavellosim beach belt in the next few days.