Thursday, March 23, 2017

Campal – who owns the mess?

The Corporation of the City of Panaji and the Public Works Department are at loggerheads over the clearing of the garbage dumped at the Campal parade grounds as residents staying in the vicinity are forced to live in unhygienic conditions

By | 28 Jun, 2016, 06:04AM IST

Campal – who owns the mess?
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The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) and the Public Works Department (PWD) are playing a blame game over the tonnes of non-segregated waste lying at the Campal Parade ground. While the responsibility of clearing the garbage is being debated the local residents are not only forced to live in unhygienic conditions but have to face the flooding caused by the incessant rains.
On the other hand, the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) has taken an initiative to restore the Parade ground to its original glory. 
For years now, the Campal Parade ground, which host events like the State Liberation Day on December 19 and the Republic Day on January 26, has been the garbage dumping facility for CCP where the waste is sorted and treated in the compositing units. However, with the new Football Stadium coming up at the site, the dumping has been stopped but the garbage which has spilled over the years, is yet to be cleared off. 
But even then, the Corporation is shirking away from the responsibility to shift the waste, stating that the ground is in the possession of PWD for maintenance and hence it is for them to handle it.
“What can we do? We have stopped dumping waste there long time back. The Parade ground is now in possession of the PWD for maintenance, so it is their duty to clear the waste,” CCP Commissioner Deepak Dessai told HERALD. 
On the other hand, PWD too has raised its hands. “As per government rule, each parade ground has to be maintained by the Public Works Department and we do take care of it (Campal ground). But the entire ground is not in our jurisdiction, only the area where parade takes place on December 19 and January 26,” PWD Chief Engineer Ulhas Parsekar said. 
“We have never dumped waste there.  We have never dumped waste there. Our permission was also not sought by CCP while dumping the waste. So it is the responsibility of the concerned department that created the mess to also clear it,” he added. 
With the Civic body having no designated garbage dumping site and a solid waste treatment plant, it finds in a hapless position to tackle the menace. And this has been haunting the capital city for years now.
 “Our garbage collection system ranks 16th in the country; unfortunately, we don’t have a dumping site and that is one of the biggest issues,” Dessai explained. 
City Mayor Surendra Furtado, was earlier on record to state that the corporation is ready to send its city waste at newly commissioned Saligao solid waste treatment plant, if government agrees to. “Even the waste lying at Campal ground, can be transported to Saligao plant for sifting,” he had said. 
However, the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) is yet to consider the proposal so far; stating that the Saligao plant is set up to handle waste only from North Goa coastal belt. 
Meanwhile, the GSUDA, which is undertaking the construction of football ground at the site, has begun to clear off the waste by segregating it. “We are segregating the plastic and sending it to Goa State Pollution Control Board, which in turn sends it to a cement plant,” Managing director GSUDA Elvis Gomes said.