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Cuncolim can resolve its water woes again and be a model city

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

26 Apr 2018 | 05:22am IST

Cuncolim can resolve its water woes again and be a model city

Vijaykumar Khopre Cuncolim

Everywhere water seems to be the burning issue and considering these circumstances Cuncolkars and other experts have been pondering whether Cuncolim can once again be self-sufficient as far as water is concerned.

The question experts and Cuncolkras are debating is whether it is possible to make Cuncolim Municipal self-sufficient as far as water is concerned? Can Cuncolim produce and use their own water without depending on government? Can Cuncolim become an ideal city in Goa which could depend on its own water?

It’s a fact, Cuncolim can easily be made self-sustainable for water and to make this dream into reality local support is a must. Besides, the government must also take this issue as a challenge and further help locals make Cuncolim self-sustainable and self-sufficient.

Recently, GOACAN and Cuncolim Consumer Forum organised Water Day and as part of its efforts the Consumer Forum surveyed some wells in Cuncolim. GOACAN chief Roland Martins had opined that there was all possibility that Cuncolim could be made self-sufficient as far as water was concerned.

He affirmed that Cuncolim could be an ideal example to make every village self-sufficient as far as water is concerned.

Cuncolim has a legacy and an age-old tradition of irrigation and water storage system by way of bandh system. In fact, there are twelve big bandhs and six small bandharas on each river of Cuncolim.

Some year ago Cuncolim was known for paddy cultivation and chilly cultivation and for this they used the water from these twelve bandhs.

During the months of October or November the twelve bandhs and six small bandharas would ensure that Cuncolkars got the required water till the monsoons arrived. The twelve bandhs ensured that people of Cuncolim got not only drinking water but also for agricultural activities. Besides, the bandharas also provided water for plants and also livestock.

Cuncolkars were known as “bara bandharachem udok pilole munis” means people who have consumed water of twelve bandharas.

These bandhs were very useful to maintain the water level during the summer season.

Once locals gradually gave up farming activities nobody took the initiative to construct the bandhs on time. Even the government and local self bodies, including locals turned a blind eye to this important activity for which are now people paying the price. In fact, the lack of initiative and direction from Cuncolim Municipal Council and Water Resource Department to safeguard this age-old legacy of Cuncolkars has led to this situation.

Ironically, now Cuncolim is facing water scarcity and many wells have dried out. Besides, they do not get water from the rivers because WRD has put concrete blocks on some rivers.

Recently, the government tried to find out the water level at Cuncolim and they were surprised to learn that it had gone much below the expected levels. And there is now an urgent need to study why Cuncolim is facing water problem.

In the past Cuncolim entirely depended on well water but now some wells are even polluted due to industries nearby. While some wells were abandoned, there is a need to clean the wells constantly and WRD, along with local municipal council must take the initiative to construct all twelve bandhs.

In fact, Cuncolkars must draw a plan to make Cuncolim self-sufficient and self-sustainable once again for water. It certainly is not an easy job but if all put their heart and soul, success can be achieved.

Cuncolkars are known world-wide as warriors and now there is opportunity to make Cuncolim world famous by becoming self-sufficient in water, says Martins optimistically.

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