Goa: The Water Resource Department (WRD) has kicked off the de-weeding of the deadly water hyacinth of Mapusa River on Monday, but concerns remain.
The mechanical de-weeding exercise from Tar river up to Moira river has been taken up at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.
WRD Executive Engineer Nazareth Vaz informed that the entire stretch will be cleared of the weeds within nine to ten days.
The extracted weed will be stacked by the riverside which will later be transported to another spot.
“The weed is a good source of nitrogen and can be used as manure. Some farmers from Bastora have expressed interest in it. We may transport it into their fields,” Vaz said.
Mapusa MLA, Joshua D’Souza inaugurated the work in the presence of Mapusa Municipal Council Chairperson, Shubhangi Vaigankar and Bastora Sarpanch, Ranjit Usgaonkar.
“We have delivered the new Tar bridge to the people two weeks back and today we have begun work to clear the water hyacinth from the river,” D’Souza said.
He applauded the efforts put in by WRD Minister, Subhash Shirodkar to start the work on de-weeding the river.
Aldona MLA Carlos Ferreira also welcomed the commencement of the de-weeding work and thanked Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Water Resources Minister Subhash Shirodkar for starting the work in a timely manner.
"The river was completely clogged with the invasive weed. I had met minister Subhash Shirodkar and had also written letters to him and he had paid heed to our letter. I had also mentioned the issue to the chief minister when he came for the inauguration of Tar bridge,” Ferreira said.
The WRD executive engineer informed that the part of the stretch from Tar river to Hotel Green Park will be taken up in the second phase.
“As soon as we complete the process of preparing the estimate and tendering, the work on the Northern side of the river will also be taken up,” Vaz informed.
The volunteer groups who were actively involved in getting rid of the weed expected the entire stretch of the river from Hotel Green Park to the Moira bridge to be cleared in one go.
A senior official of the WRD informed that the entire exercise of clearing the weed will be of no use if the sewage let out in the river is not stopped.
“The weeds are getting nutrients from the sewage that is let into the river. If that is not stopped the weeds will erupt again,” the official said, requesting anonymity.