Stating that all legal clearances have been given, Waste Management Minister Babush Monserrate informed that he will go ahead with the Bainguinim waste treatment plant as it is the need of the hour.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, on Tuesday, Monserrate said that the opponents of the plant had gone to the court, to stall the process, but were not successful.
“The opponents had gone to the courts as well as various authorities, to stall the process, but we got the all clear. The issue is now pending with the SC but no stay has been granted and we are going to go ahead with the plant,” he added.
Monserrate further stated that earlier two tenders were floated but the bidders did not qualify. “Now a third tender would be floated within the next two months,” he said.
When asked about the opposition of the local MLA Rajesh Faldessai, Monserrate said that he understands his sentiments as he is talking on behalf of his people.
“I have already told the local MLA in the Assembly that the plant has to come as it is the need of the hour. He has been a MLA now but the process had started long back,” he added.
Protests against the garbage treatment plant have been raging of late with people demanding shifting of the plant to some other site.
The area has also witnessed vociferous protests from people living in residential apartments near the proposed plant saying they will be affected the most.
There are more than a thousand apartments within a 200 metre radius of the garbage plant while the road leading to the plant also has apartments on either side.
Locals also say that the garbage treatment plant is close to a temple, a major private hospital, a lake and most importantly the UNESCO-recognised Old Goa Church complex, which is a tourist hotspot.
Residents and activists also claim the stench of the plant will deter tourists while the waste water from the plant will contaminate the groundwater in the area.