Water bodies or ponds are known to be the lifeline of agriculture, but when the owners and the government itself neglects maintenance of these ponds, agricultural activity is bound to get affected.
Along the Salcete coastal belt, many such ponds situated amidst huge tracts of fields are a sight of apathy and indifference. These Water bodies have become convenient sites to dump garbage and waste, some have dried up due to siltation.
In some cases, due to loss of interest in cultivating fields, algae and water hyacinth have covered the entire surface of the ponds. The ponds are becoming ideal spot for dumping livestock waste, dead domesticated animals, plastic bottles etc.
If some eateries and restaurants are allowed in the vicinity of ponds, it becomes a convenient place to release sewage. The latest is the food carts being set up in nooks and corners of the villages. They get rid of their waste like egg shells, burnt oil and other remains into the water bodies, a resident said.
These ponds are owned by the government hence there is no clear-cut official policy as such about the preservation of these water bodies.
Chief engineer, irrigation department, Sandeep Nadkarni says ponds owned by the government are being maintained by them and that they desilt them and build retaining walls as they recharge the soil.
If farmers or individuals want to clean these ponds, panchayat members claim that they need a proposal from a sizeable group of farmers to put up for discussion during the panchayat meeting and later, discuss at the gram sabha for approval, shared local people.