Mining poisons South Goa waters: The case of the Salaulim reservoir shown in a film
This film describes the impact of excessive mining on water resources in South Goa .
4 Feb 2012

Content and Media Courtesy: Video Volunteers

It raises questions about the negative impact that excessive mining can have on the health of population in the area through contamination of water resources. The film presents the case of the Salaulim reservoir, situated in the Sanguem taluka, which is the largest dam in Goa. It supplies water to almost entire South Goa, comprising 55% of the state's population.

Source: YouTube
There are as many as 15 mining leases within the catchment of the reservoir, which has proved to be a grave danger to the dam, the water that flows through it, as well as the people who consume this water. During the monsoon, mining reject flows into rivers, ponds and dams, polluting the water, which is later used for drinking and irrigation purposes.

The film raises concerns about the impact of the high iron ore and manganese ore content in the water and argues that these can lead to health probelms such as heart disease, mental illnesses and digestive problems, particularly among children, who are vulnerable and therefore susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Farming is also suffering because of the high concentration of minerals in water. Silt forms a layer over the ground, sometimes as high as 4 inches, leaving it infertile. Paddy, the staple crop of Goa, is worst affected by this.

The film accuses the government of focusing on short term profits and ignoring the health needs of the local population and argues that this has led to a compromise in terms of the people's right to have clean drinking water and good health. The film ends by  questioning the insensitivity of the govenrment, the helplessness of the people who do not know where to report the problem and by asking "Who can assure us clean drinking water?"
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