As the Margao municipality is bracing up to take a call on the roadmap for Sonsodo on Tuesday, a question will come to haunt the Margao City Fathers and the Powers that be controlling the civic body -- Who’s to be blamed for the gross wastage of taxpayer’s money on the remediation of the piled up waste inside the waste management shed.
This question has come to the fore as the Margao Municipal Council (MMC), amongst other things, is expected to take a call on giving its nod for the remediation of the accumulated waste inside the Sonsodo shed at a cost of around Rs two crore.
For, the civic body had just two years ago spent around Rs 85 lakh to cart out and remediate the piled-up waste from the Sonsodo shed.
That’s not all. The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) had last year reported to have further spent lakhs of rupees to cart out and remediate the piled-up waste inside the shed.
While the MMC and the GWMC had spent public money to empty the Sonsodo shed of the piled-up waste in the last two years, the shed is again full to the brim.
The latest estimate prepared by the MMC to cart out and remediate the piled-up waste shows that it will cost the civic body a whopping Rs two crore.
In fact, this is the third time in as many years that the waste piled up inside the Sonsodo waste management shed is proposed to be removed and remediated, indicating that no treatment of waste worth its name had taken place at Sonsodo since the time Fomento Green had handed over the plant and machinery to the MMC to handle the waste.
Sources informed that GMWC Managing Director Levinson Martins had taken the initiative in 2020, when Covid had raised its ugly head in the State, to empty the shed of the piled-up waste and got it remediated at a cost of Rs 85 lakh. The reason behind the GWMC operation was apparently to make the shed ready for the MMC to start treatment of the day-to-day wet waste generated in the city. The GWMC had even drafted one of its engineers to help and assist the civic body to take up the treatment of the daily waste through the windrow method.
Sadly, not a single tonne of waste was treated by the civic body, prompting the GWMC to withdraw its technical officials from the site. The end result was there for all to see. After the shed was emptied of the piled up in mid-2020, waste again accumulated inside the shed, which was partly carted out and remediated in 2022 when the shed reached a point of saturation with no space left to accept the fresh daily waste.
Commenting on the MMC proposal to spend Rs five-odd crore on waste management at Sonsodo, including Rs 2.03 crore alone on the remediation of the waste accumulated in the shed, Shadow Council for Margao chief Savio Coutinho remarked: "Even after we gave the council suggestions for the remediation at much lower expenses, yet they will choose to go for a fat tender upon the directions of the leaders in control of the council.”
He added: “Since Fomento Green left Sonsodo in 2020, the council has spent Rs 86 lakh and Rs 3.24 crore on remediation of accumulated waste on two occasions to date.”
Coutinho further said: "Nearly Rs one crore is spent every month by the council on waste management, which naturally includes treatment. However, not a single kilogram of compost is generated, thus confirming that there is no treatment whatsoever happening with the waste collected."
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)