Assuring all help from the government to the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) in resolving the vexing garbage problem, Minister for Waste Management Michael Lobo on Saturday said that a meeting will be called at the South Goa Collectorate to discuss about plans to set up three organic waste converters that will be an arrangement till a new waste treatment plant comes up at Sonsoddo. Speaking to media, after laying foundation stone for upgradation of organic waste converter at Nuvem, Lobo said all the three legislators-Digambar Kamat, Vijai Sardesai, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, besides Director of Municipal Administration (DMA), MMC and other stakeholders will be invited for the meeting. “After discussing with the Chief Minister, a date will be fixed for the meeting. Soon after the meeting, tenders will be floated for setting up of three waste converters. MMC is facing a grave problem of waste disposal and the government is duty bound to help them,” he said. Lobo said that South Goa requires two waste treatment plants of 250 tonnes each, adding, one plant has been proposed at Cacora for which process has already begun, while he did not reveal about the site of the second such plant. When this reporter asked him whether the second plant has been planned to be set up in Salcete, Lobo said that he cannot speak about the location of the plant at the moment. “People of South Goa need to be more sensitive. They should support the government in setting up the plants in South Goa like the one we have in Saligao,” he said. He said that Saligao solid waste management plant will be upgraded by spending Rs 90 crore and this work will be completed in ten months’ time. He said the machinery has been already brought at the plant. “There are few who are opposing it but such opposition will remain. We have to do our work in the interest of the state,” he said. Lobo said that MLA Wilfred Dsa can take the lead in setting up mini plants in SGPDA area.
Dsa celebrated his birthday on Saturday and on the occasion the government sanctioned farming equipment in his constituency. Sarpanchas of Betalbatim, Nuvem and Majorda-Calata were present on the occasion. Zonal agriculture officer of Salcete Anil Noronha spoke about schemes available for farmers. Meanwhile, Lobo said that garbage was making its way into fields, water bodies, on hills in South Goa areas due to the Sonsoddo imbroglio. He said that people are disposing of garbage in fields, on the hills, in rivers and ponds as there is no plant to treat this waste. He pointed out that river Sal in Salcete is fully polluted. “If dredging is carried out, garbage-filled plastic bags will be found in the river. The situation is very bad. I appeal to the people of South Goa not to oppose waste treatment plants as garbage problem will remain unresolved. The people of South Goa need to be more sensitive to this issue.”