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Kesarval spring may spring to life again

Kesarval spring may spring to life again

Colva: Villagers of Quelossim are pinning their hope on Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to give Kesarval spring a kiss of life.
Kersarval once counted among the popular springs in Goa known for its limpid and as some believed, medicinal waters. The spring, located in a quiet nook of a green valley with a breathtaking ambience in Quelossim, was being frequented by hundreds of visitors almost throughout the year, but dried up more than a decade ago.
Old-timers and even some from the younger generation, who had enjoyed the luxury of the cool water flowing from the spouts overhead, are saddened by the sight of dirt around the spring. Springs flow from the ground, but this was like a small waterfall.
The demise of the beautiful spring began with the establishment of the Verna Industrial Estate. Migrant labourers employed at the Verna Industrial estate began to descend here for their ablutions – brushing their teeth, bathing, washing their clothes and to answer nature’s call. Soon, the spring began to be littered with plastic and all types of waste.
With industries covering more ground on Verna plateau, the groundwater started depleting, say nearby villagers. Over 200 borewells were drawing water indiscriminately due to scarcity of water and to sustain their operations. Water resources department (WRD) officials now say meters have been installed and drawing of water has been reduced significantly.
But, villagers are skeptical about it. Joao Philip Pereira, a resident of Nagoa village, situated on the south western fringe of the industrial estate, says they had filed a PIL in the high court of Bombay at Goa. “But, the situation is becoming worse instead of improving,” he said.
With the bifurcation of Quelossim from Cortalim panchayat, villagers are looking at Kesarval spring with new hope. “The villagers adopted a resolution at the first gram sabha to restore the spring to its old glory,” says ward member, Rigel Tavares.

They have resolved to beautify it as well as ensure security measures through GTDC to maintain hygiene. A social worker said that three panchayats, Cortalim, Quelossim and Verna should co-ordinate to end the nuisance at the spring. “A survey to identify people and provide housing for the workers will help,” he said.
Cortalim MLA Alina Sadanha discussed the issue with GTDC chairman, Nilesh Cabral after a recent inspection with local panchayat members. “He has agreed in-principle to restore the spring as the corporation owns the land around the spring,” she said.
Cabral said maintaining the spring is not easy. “Eight to nine years ago, the government spent Rs 2 crore for steps and railing, but due to lack of maintenance things tend to get out of hand,” he said.

GTDC is also looking at rejuvenating the spring as it dries up during summer. “After the bye-election, the tendering process will begin,” he said.
written by Nisser Dias
This article was first published on Times of India on 8th Sept 2017

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