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Jun 29, 2019
3:08PM

Mining polluted two major rivers in Goa, hit ecology: Study

File pic: DD News
In Goa, iron ore mining has adversely impacted the sediments of two major rivers in the state. This has ultimately affected the bottom-dwelling organisms in them, a study said. The study was conducted by the Marine Science Department of Goa University. Researchers carried out detailed assessments of the impact of mining on the sediment cores of the rivers in Goa and also on the metal concentration in the Zuari estuary.

The first study was published in the Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences. It says that in order to assess the long-term contamination history of pollutants due to intense mining activities in the adjoining areas of rivers of northern Goa, sediment core samples were collected from three rivers- Bicholim, Mandovi and Terekhol.

The sediments were analysed for texture, organic carbon, major elements and trace metals. Environmental parameters such as contamination factor, geoaccumulation, enrichment factor and pollution load index were used to assess the extent of pollution. The study revealed that the Bicholim river is strongly polluted with iron and manganese and moderately polluted with lead and chromium, while the Mandovi river is moderately polluted with manganese and lead.

The Terekhol river, though unpolluted in the past, is getting polluted with copper and chromium in the recent years because of human interference. The results indicate that mining has a considerable impact on the Bicholim and Mandovi river sediments, which in turn affected the ecology of bottom-dwelling organisms.

It said that concentrations of trace metals in waters of the Zuari estuary were significantly less as compared to the periods of rampant mining activities around Goa, indicating that mining can influence the concentration of metals in the Zuari estuary. In March 2018, after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases, the five-decade-old mining industry in the state came to a standstill.

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