Margao: “Sonsodo, the big fat hen that lays Golden eggs is all set to lay more golden eggs for those who feast from it”, stated the Ex Chairperson and SCM Convener Mr. Savio Coutinho while describing the MMC’S waste management system.
Shadow Council with folded hands appealed to the Hon’ble High Court to strictly monitor the Bio Remediation work at Sonsodo, as the concerned authorities and the Contractor are adopting crude methods of disposing the legacy waste in low lying areas without taking measures to prevent the pollution of the ground water table.
It is hardly 3 months since the Goa Waste Management Corporation, through its blue eyed Contractor the Hindustan Waste Treatment Pvt. Ltd, cleared 14380 cubic meters of accumulated waste from the Sonsodo plant. The same place in now once again ready with a similar quantity of accumulated waste, waiting to be feasted upon by the gullible people in authority, lamented Mr. Coutinho.
Since Fomento handed over the plant to the MMC in February 2020, this will be the 3rd time accumulated waste from inside the plant will be cleared by spending additional funds from the public exchequer.
In June 2020 an amount of Rs 85 lakhs was paid to the Hindustan Waste Treatment Pvt. Ltd for clearing the accumulated waste so as to facilitate the dumping of fresh daily waste. Around the same time the Margao Municipal Council commenced their much hyped door to door segregated waste collection system by engaging 2 agency’s. Incidentally one of the agency Bapu Environmental Social Service Organization was appointed directly without following any Codal formalities.
The second operation of clearing the accumulated waste from inside the plant just got executed around 2 months back, at a very huge cost of 3.37 crores, Mr. Coutinho informed; And now very soon another few crores will go towards the clearing of the waste from inside the plant, for the third time, dusgusted Coutinho stated.
What is beyond one’s understanding is that when the Council has been boasting about collecting segregated waste through 2 of their favorite agency’s; and supposedly delivering segregated wet waste to the Sonsodo plant, then why does this segregated wet waste need Bio Remediation at such huge additional costs?, Coutinho questions further .
The outgoings from the Municipal treasury is nearly 30 lakhs per month paid to the 2 agency’s; besides these Contractor’s payments, MMC also pays hundreds of other daily wage workers, he pointed out.
If one calculates the total expenses incurred by the Margao Municipal Council for the last 5 years towards Fomento’s payments, waste collection Contractor’s bills, wages and salaries, vehicles and fuel, and the fire extinguishing costs, purchase of dust bins etc. would easily total up to 100 crores. “And even after spending 100 crores during the last 5 years, not a single kilogram of compost is derived from all these operations; and this very clearly exposes the fact that no quantity of waste is treated scientifically”, Mr. Coutinho charged.
When the Shadow Council for Margao got information in March 2022, about the accumulated waste being handed over for Bio Remediation at a huge cost of 3.37 crores, we offered to assist the Council to address the same issue by incurring expenses of 25 lakhs only, he informed.
“We gave a representation in writing vide inward no 700063630 dtd. 30/03/2022, to then Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, all councillors of MMC, and the 3 MLA’S associated with the MMC. But since everyone’s interest was fixed upon giving the work to Hindustan Waste Treatment Pvt. Ltd, they had their way, with total disregard for public funds”, Coutinho rues.
Today when we visited the Sonsodo plant, we were very disappointed to see the state of affairs there. The daily waste collected from around the Municipal jurisdiction is simply dumped at the entrance of the plant, and the Hitachi excavator hired by the Council pushing the waste further inside the shed to make place for other trucks to dump waste.
There are over 100 dog’s inside the shed feeding upon the waste there. Hundreds of birds are also found inside the shed enjoying their share of fodder provided by the MMC. Apart from these strays converting the waste through consumption, no other treatment of waste is seen happening at the Sonsodo plant, SCM points out.
For this utter neglect we fully blame not only the Council but the government aswell. All seem to be engrossed in feasting on the Golden Eggs from this hen called Sonsodo, and hence it appears that this hen will be bred forever, SCM concluded.