Following an outrage over the stink from the waste management plant at Saligao, the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) has decided not to accept any garbage from outside the coastal areas. The villagers of Saligao and Candolim area are up in their arms against the stench, which has been emanating from the waste at Saligao treatment plant. Built at a cost of Rs 148 crore, the plant is currently receiving and handling waste of around 200 tonnes daily. Inaugurated in 2015, the plant was initially supposed to handle waste only from North Goa, but is now overloaded with waste from places like Panjim, St Cruz, Merces, etc also including some panchayats from South.
Speaking to Herald, GSWM Director Michael Lobo said that the Corporation has now decided to handle waste only from coastal areas. “The stink around the areas near the plant has become unbearable simply because the plant is handling more waste than its capacity,” he said. He informed that the plant currently is handling around 200 tonnes of waste in three shifts. “The (reason for the) stink is that the waste which comes in the morning from panchayats remains till evening and hence it starts smelling. Though it is the best plant available and the operators are doing their best, everything has a limit,” he said. Lobo said that in the last meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is the chairman of the Corporation, he told the chief minister that outside waste other than coastal areas would not be accepted. “We need two more plants like this to come up in Bainguinim and Cacora, which will help the State tackle the menace. We cannot put entire load on one plant,” he said. Lobo, however, said the GSWM has given 8 days time to the panchayats to make alternate arrangements. “Henceforth, we have decided that no garbage from outside coastal areas will be accepted. The garbage of Calangute, Candolim, Baga and Anjuna itself is over 75 tonnes daily, forget other coastal panchayats,” he said. He said that the people of surrounding areas have started cursing the government for the stink and it was high time to take action before people’s health is affected.