Goa: Waste burning in Margao continues to pose health hazard for residents

Goa: Waste burning in Margao continues to pose health hazard for residents

Are Madgavkars and Fatordekars destined to breath smoke and pollution every morning with waste burning continuing unabated in the commercial capital and the Margao Municipal Council and the powers that be controlling the civic body displaying no urgency to put a stop to the illegal practice?

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Friday, February 24, 2023, 05:23 PM IST
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Are Madgavkars and Fatordekars destined to breath smoke and pollution every morning with waste burning continuing unabated in the commercial capital and the Margao Municipal Council and the powers that be controlling the civic body displaying no urgency to put a stop to the illegal practice?

For, it’s not uncommon to find civic workers setting fire to the waste along the roadsides after sweeping. No municipal vehicle ever comes to lift away the waste collected by the municipal sweepers. The end result is that the waste, comprising of dry leaves, paper and plastic items are all set afire, posing health hazard as well as nuisance to the residents.

In fact, hapless residents are exposed to the smoke and pollution almost every day caused by burning of waste. Even a stranger to the commercial capital would come across waste is being disposed of by burning all along the city road sides, throwing  up a simple question – is the road side waste being disposed of by burning for want of space to accommodate waste at the Sonsodo waste management shed? Or, is it simply that there’s still no mechanism in place for safe disposal of the waste generated by road side sweeping due to apathy and indifference by the Margao Municipal administration and the powers that be controlling the civic body?

Otherwise, how does one explain the abject failure of the Margao civic body or the Goa State Pollution Control Board or the District Collector to crack a whip against the rampant waste burning by the Margao civic body workers almost round the year. 

Take note, waste burning has been banned by the National Green Tribunal, empowering the State Pollution Control boards to penalize the culprits under the Polluter Pay principle.

Sadly, neither the GSPCB has initiated any action against the civic body nor has the Municipality conducted any sensitization for the Municipal workers till date, as a result of which waste burning continues unabated.

With no action forthcoming from the concerned authorities, including the GSPCB, health department and the district authorities, the Margao Municipal babus and City Fathers seemed to have not drawn up any plan to stop the illegality.

When The Goan had recently called up GSPCB Member Secretary, Dr Shamila Monteiro to shed light on waste burning in Margao, she had pushed the buck onto the Margao Municipality, saying it’s the responsibility of the civic body to sensitize the Municipal workers on waste burning.

Sadly, inquiries at the Margao Municipality have revealed that no sensitization of the grass root workers have taken place till date, to sensitize the field workers why they should not resort to waste burning every morning. 

A senior MMC official sought to push the buck onto the Municipal supervisors, saying the field workers directly report to the site supervisors. "The civic body should create a mechanism to collect the dry waste from the road sides after sweeping by the sweepers. In the absence of any vehicle moving around to collect the waste generated after sweeping, the workers must be disposing of the waste by burning,”  the official said.

Incidentally, no Margao Municipal Chief Officer has given a serious thought to the question of the waste burning every morning by the civic workers, when waste burning is banned by the National Green Tribunal as the same poses a health hazard to the residents.

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