Minister for Science and Technology Michael Lobo said the proposed solid waste management facility (SWMF) at Bainguinim, which is going to be a centralised system to treat the waste generated by five Tiswadi constituencies, will be completed within two years. Claiming that the local bodies have failed to put in place SWM systems, thus leading to generation of dumps, Lobo also said that the govt has proposed two more SWMFs at Cacora and Verna, which are at various stages of implementation, including awaiting technical sanction and appointment of management consultant, and the same will be completed within 28 months. Minister assured that within the next two and half years, the Sonsoddo garbage dump would be also cleared. “The EIA clearly concludes that the entire solid waste generated in the proposed area will be scientifically treated without any environmental damage. This facility creation will not damage or pollute the surrounding environment. The major impacts are positive for the environment as well as the local people,” Lobo said. He was responding to the calling attention motion moved by BJP Cumbharjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar pointing to the fear in the minds of residents of the Baniguinim and its surrounding area on the proposed facility.
The motion was tabled by BJP MLA Dayanand Sopte on behalf of Madkaikar. Participating in the discussion, Congress MLA Luizinho Faleiro and MGP MLA Sudin Dhavalikar called on the govt to reconsider its decision in a bid to maintain the sanctity of the place, which houses the world heritage structure –Basilica of Bom Jesus and also a temple. “Also, there are large number of residential complexes located within 250-300 meters of the proposed site and they have raised concern,” the MLAs said. NCP MLA Churchill Alemao, however, objected, mentioning that all needs to be united and not bow down to unwanted opposition from the people, who are objecting it just for the sake of opposition. Lobo said the village panchayat of Old Goa is a major generator and doesn’t have any waste management facility and that it resorts to unscientific waste disposal methods. CM Pramod Sawant said that permissions granted by TCP and Old Goa panchayat for construction of various residential and commercial projects is in violation of the notified RP 2011, wherein the area has been notified as a garbage management site. “CCP issued a letter to TCP in Oct, 2010, requesting to freeze the land to maintain buffer zone of 500 meters around the land acquired at Bainguinim. TCP later moved the file to the govt for decision in 2010, but no decision was taken,” he said.
Speaking about the 250 tonnes per day facility, Lobo explained that the proposed facility is on the lines of the facility already setup and operational in Saligao. Lobo said the proposed facility will treat the municipal solid waste, after recovering all possible recyclables and segregating the same into the wet and dry fractions. He said biogas will be generated from the wet waste, which will be converted into electricity whereas the stabilized organic sludge shall be further processed to generate high quality Soil Conditioner and Compost. The dry waste will be cleaned and used to generate high quality ‘Refused Derived Fuel’ while only residual/inert fraction shall be land-filled in the sanitary landfill facility.