Saligao plant fails to get garbage due to lukewarm response from panchayats; company says garbage sent is not segregated; plant could become unviable as it requires minimum 100 tonnes of garbage to produce 1 MW of power
PANJIM: In Goa you will see garbage littered all over except in the place it should actually be.
Following debates, discussion and criticism over the garbage situation, the State government through Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation and Department of Science Technology set up a state-of-the-art Solid Waste Management Plant, at Saligao plateau, inaugurated on Goa Statehood day at at a whopping cost of the Rs 146 cr.
It was then said that the plant could handle nearly 300 tonnes of garbage a day in three shifts. However, a month since it began operations, the plant is struggling to get garbage for treatment.
Documents available with Herald reveal that on an average only 52.64 tonnes of garbage are received at the site, which makes the plant unviable. The figures reveal that till June 15 (15 days after plant was inaugurated) the plant had received just 789.68 tonnes of which 3.96 was wet waste, 5.86 was dry waste and 779.86 was mixed garbage.
The officials at the site said the situation hasn’t improved and on an average only 50 tonnes are received daily. The figures also reveal that a maximum of garbage is mixed and the panchayats have taken no pains to segregate and send it to the plant.
Only few panahcyats sending waste
While the plant was supposed to service waste of the entire northern coastal belt, not many panchayats have shown interest in sending garbage to the plant. The situation is such that Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s constituency, which is also a tourist area, has not shown much response to the plant.
Not only North Goa
The plant was supposed to treat garbage only from North Goa but the situation
of less garbage has led to the company accepting garbage even from South Goa.
Sangolda, Calangute, Porvorim, Arpora, Parra, Sarvan, Goa Tourism Colva, Goa Tourism Palolem, Goa Tourism Sridona, and Goa Tourism Calangute, Goa Tourism Baga, Candolim, Sanquelim, Nerul, Ponda, Bicholim, Verem, Pernem, Siolim, Margao, Chicalim, Anjuna, Panjim, PCB Vasco, Pilerne Marra, Goa Tourism Arambol, Saligao, Guirim and Verla Canca are the panahcyats and bodies from where the plant is receiving garbage.
While the plant can handle both segregated as well as mixed garbage, it delays the entire process of treatment if the waste is mixed, say officials asking not to be named. “Most of the panchayats are sending just mixed waste,” the official said adding “it has to be segregated at the point of collection otherwise it amounts to extra running costs.”
Officials also rued the fact that not enough garbage is coming at the plant, which means that the plant cannot produce enough electricity to sustain itself. The plant needs at least 100 tonnes of garbage to produce 1 MW of power.
Secondly, the government is spending Rs 27 cr on annual maintenance and handling of garbage at the plant.
Send segregated garbage: CM
Parsekar has urged all panchayats to send segregated garbage. He recently held meeting of all North Goa coastal panchayat sarpanchas and informed them of this, however, the situation hasn’t improved.
“First we were saying we do not have a plant or a place to dump, now we have a plant and we just need to make efforts to send the garbage there in a segregated manner,” he said.
Garbage collection a failure: Lobo
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, whose constituency has been making the maximum use of the plant, says he is not satisfied with the collection. “Despite having a big plant, we still see garbage littered everywhere, this is a total failure of panchayats and civic bodies in collection of garbage,” he said.
He added, “Only Arpora, Nagoa, Parra, Calangute and Verla Canca panchayats are sending waste regularly rest have shown no inclination. What more can the government do? We have given them the plant now it is duty of panchayats to send garbage.”