Waste Management Minister Michael Lobo favoured an out-of-court settlement with Fomento to resolve the Sonsodo imbroglio, even as he disclosed plans to deploy even 10 screens at the dumping site to clear the existing dump yard in less than a year’s time. During his visit to the Margao Municipal building along with local MLAs Digambar Kamat and Vijai Sardesai when they called on the newly-elected Margao Municipal Chairperson Pooja Naik, the Waste Management Minister straight away asked MMC Chief Officer Sidhivinayak Naik how much money the Civic body would be willing to pay to clear Fomento from Sonsodo. Before heading to the Sonsodo site, Lobo said the MMC will have to make available the required funds to clear Fomento from Sonsodo, saying the court battle will not take the MMC anywhere, but only delay GWMC’s plans to erect a new plant at Sonsodo. After inspecting the Sonsodo site, the Minister told the media in the presence of the Fatorda MLA that he had informal meetings with Fomento Chairman Avduth Timblo, adding that he along with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant plan to call on Mr Timbo again. “If we manage to strike a settlement deal and ensure the exit of Fomento from Sonsodo, the GWMC will raze down the existing shed and build a new structure to house a modern plant to take care of the waste from Margao and surrounding villages,” he said.
On the bio-remediation process, Lobo said he has come to Sonsodo to inspect the site given that the GWMC is all ready to start the remediation process at the site. “We have already finalized the contractor, who is ready to mobilize the machinery any time now. We have drawn up a plan to start the operation from December 1 on the condition that MMC makes available land for storage of inert waste,” he said. Lobo said the MMC will have to secure the entire Sonsodo property with a compound wall to make the entire area look like an industry. “We are ready to install even 10 screens at Sonsodo to remediate the waste in less than a year’s time. If a solution is found to the Fomento-MMC battle, the GWMC is ready to come out with a new plant at Sonsodo,” he said. Lobo, Kamat and Sardesai all maintained that the MMC should take proactive steps to get the baling machines in place to get rid of the 15 tonnes of dry waste generated in the city. Given that the MMC has been found wanting in doing the follow up with the agencies, a suggestion was made to the Fatorda MLA to depute his staff to do the follow ups with various agencies.