Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Questions over delay in setting up treatment plant as MMC spends crores on waste transportation to Cacora

HPCC yet to take call on 15TPD bio-methanation plant as HC deadline expires; GWMC has remediated legacy dump, carted out tons of piled up waste lying inside shed

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 10, 2024, 01:17 AM IST
Questions over delay in setting up treatment plant as  MMC spends crores on waste transportation to Cacora

For how long will the Margao Municipal Council go on spending Rs 14.5 lakh every month, around Rs 1.74 crore a year to be precise, on the transportation of city’s wet waste to the Cacora management site for treatment?

Why is the Margao civic body and the Chief Minister-headed High Powered Coordination Committee (HPCC) dragging its feet in taking a call on setting up of a waste treatment plant in the city instead of transporting the city’s waste to Cacora? Or is the Margao Municipal Council or the government content with the stop gap arrangement of disposing of the city’s daily waste, around 30-odd tons at the Cacora waste treatment plant?

These and other questions will certainly come to haunt the Margao councillors and Congress-turned-BJP MLA Digambar Kamat, controlling the BJP-backed Council, as the High Court’s deadline to take a decision on setting up the 15TPD bio-methanation plant for Sonsodo has gone abegging.

Pose these questions to officials of the Margao Municipal Council, and do not be surprised if they pass the buck on the Chief Minister-headed HPCC for the delay in convening the HPCC meeting before July 5 High Court deadline.

Pointing out that the High Court had issued directions to the HPCC to convene a meeting of the panel, a senior civic official said the MMC had already written letters to senior government officials to convene the meeting, but in vain.

The MMC spends on an average around Rs 14.50 lakh every month towards the cost on the transportation of waste to the Cacora waste plant for treatment. In fact, the MMC has not treated a single kg of wet waste since late last year after the High Court directed the civic body to transport the wet waste to Cacora.

Senior officials, however, pointed out that the High Court’s observations, while disposing off the public interest litigation filed by Citizens for Sonsodo, that the Court expected the HPCC to address the issues of setting up a 15TPD bio-methanation plant as soon as possible by issuing necessary directions to the GWMC and the MMC, is a clear indication that the High Court wanted the government to play a key role in resolving the Sonsodo garbage imbroglio.

Incidentally, the Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) had given the green signal to the MMC to transport the city’s waste to Cacora till the time the plant has the capacity to accept wet waste from Margao, indicating that Margao’s waste will not be accepted at Cacora once the plant, which is designed to accept waste from the talukas of Canacona, Quepem, Sanguem and Dharbandora, reach the stage of saturation.

Why spend crores on remediation sans establishing treatment plant?

MARGAO: The Margao Municipal Council and the Chief Minister-headed High Powered Coordination Committee (HPCC) may have to answer a simple question – why the government had to spent crores of rupees on the remediation of the Sonsodo legacy waste dump and to cart out the piled up waste from the Sonsodo waste management shed if the civic body was not firm in having its own waste treatment plant at Sonsodo?

Well, a visit to the Sonsodo waste management site would reveal that the decades-old legacy dump is remediated by the Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC). The GWMC has also carted out the thousands of tons of piled up waste lying inside the Sonsodo waste management shed for remediation.

In fact, the MMC is now blessed with land admeasuring around 15,000 square meters at Sonsodo, besides the waste management shed, both of which can be put in operation to resolve the garbage mess plaguing the city.

Sadly, while the GWMC had earlier proposed the 15TPD bio-methanation plant at the site where the legacy waste once existed at Sonsodo, no plant has taken shape till date. No garbage management project has come in the Sonsodo waste management shed, which has been emptied by the GWMC by carting out the piled up waste out for remediation.

“Transportation of wet waste from Margao to Cacora has resolved the garbage mess staring at the commercial capital for the moment. For, how long will the civic body transport the waste to the Cacora plant for treatment? How would the civic body deal with a situation if the Cacora treatment plant refuses to accept waste for some technical reason or another for a few days,” questioned a senior government officer.

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