As the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced the arrival of monsoons in Kerala on Sunday, three days ahead of the normal date, time is running out for the Margao Municipal Council to either lift away tonnes of plastic and dry waste lying along the city roadsides and water bodies or allow the waste to find its way into the water bodies, nullahs and the adjoining river Sal.
Indeed, the civic body and the newly-appointed Chief Officer Rohit Kadam has a task at hand on waste management – how to lift away the plastic waste strewn along the city roadsides, including the ring roads and the storm water nullah, besides the flyovers before the monsoons hit the State in a week from now.
In fact, time is running out for the Margao Municipality in preventing an environmental disaster by lifting away the plastic waste from finding its way into the storm water drains into the adjoining river Sal, before the waste flows into the Arabian Sea.
When The Goan team visited certain areas, including the Comba ring road, the entry point to the Margao flyover, area near the Tolleaband lake behind the Ravindra Bhavan, etc, one could come across tonnes of waste lying unattended. These spots are all low-lying areas close to the storm water nullahs and the river Sal, are just the tip of the iceberg, with sources not ruling out the possibility of the waste flowing into the water bodies and the river.
MMC officials may in private question why the civic body should lift away the plastic waste dumped along the Comba ring road, blaming the citizens for the nuisance and the menace. But, the civic body may have a simple question to answer – should a Municipal Council turn a blind eye and allow tonnes of plastic waste to flow into the water bodies and the river Sal and contribute to an environmental disaster?
Take note, the Margao Municipality had cleaned up the Aquem ring road a fortnight ago, by lifting away dozens of truck loads of both wet and plastic waste. The civic body carried out the exercise as the area resembled an eyesore and with complaints pouring from the powers that be and citizens to rid the ring road of the menace.
Sadly, a similar operation has not been forthcoming from the Municipal City Fathers and Babus though the monsoons have been fast approaching. Neither the Municipal Chairperson Lyndon Pereira nor the administration including the sanitation and the technical section thought it fit to get the plastic waste lifted away and stop the environmental disaster in waiting. The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has washed its hands off the plastic waste dumped along the roadsides and ring roads in the commercial capital.
“The job of lifting away the plastic waste falls in the domain of the local bodies. In the instant case, the responsibility rests with the Margao civic body,” informed GWMC Managing Director, Levinson Martins when The Goan once again drew his attention to the impending environmental disaster. Saying the GWMC cannot go about collecting dry waste from the towns, villages and cities, Martins said the Corporation only facilitates the local bodies in managing solid waste management by accepting baled waste.
MMC found wanting in getting contractor clear waste dumped along roadsides
MARGAO: Why is the Margao Municipal Council dragging its feet to deploy the army of door-to-door waste collection workers to clean up the plastic waste dumped along the roadsides?
Questions are doing the rounds in the corridors of the Margao Municipality as the City Fathers and the Babus have been found wanting in deploying the army of workers to collect the dry and plastic waste from these dark spots.
Officials in private admit that collection and segregation of waste from the dark spots is part and parcel of the door-to-door waste collection contract executed by the civic body with the private contractors.
Even the new tender floated by the civic body to award door-to-door waste collection contracts has a condition that the door-to-door waste collectors should also segregate and collect waste from the dark spots. A civic official pointed out that the door-to-door waste collectors are duty bound to segregate waste at the dark spots and lift the same for treatment. “Civic officials should explain whether the waste dumped along the road sides does not constitute a dark spot,” sources pointed out.