Panaji: The Goa government has allowed two Japanese companies to research on carcinogenic chromium content in two major water bodies which run alongside the industrial estates housing metal processing units in the state.

Goa State Pollution Control Board Chairman Jose Manuel Noronha alongwith experts from Japan today announced this ambitious one million USD project that is likely to ascertain the chromium content in river Sal and Bethora rivulet.

River Sal flows behind Cuncolim Industrial estate, a home for several metal processing units and Bethora rivulet is on the periphery of Bethora Industrial Estate near Ponda town, 25 kms away from Panaji.

Samples from 78 different spots were collected by the experts and sent for analysis at Chennai based laboratory as part of this project which was officially announced today but the ground work for it had already begun last year.

Kanji Tamamushi (Panasonic Excel International Corporation) and Shunsuke Kawakami (Asahi Geo Survey Co Ltd) both from Japan and Indian researcher P Sreenivasalu Reddy along with Goa University Professor Dr Joe D’Souza have been working on this project which began in September last year and will complete in February 2015.

Noronha said that after the analysis of water samples, the next step would be to identify the source from where these carcinogenic products are pushed into these waterbodies.

“Then action would be taken against industries releasing the hazardous waste into these bodies,” he said adding that some suspected industries are already shut after a High Court order on pollution.

Goa has 162 hazardous waste generating industries churning out 50,000 tons of waste a year, which is sent for disposal at a facility at Taloja in Maharashtra as Goa does not have it.

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