Herald: Karnataka uses dry waste to force Goa’s hand on Mhadei issue
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Karnataka uses dry waste to force Goa’s hand on Mhadei issue

02 Feb 2018 07:00am IST

Report by
SHWETA KAMAT

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02 Feb 2018 07:00am IST

Report by
SHWETA KAMAT

Since Jan 1, 2018, Goa has stopped transporting non-biodegradable non-recyclable waste to Karnataka as transportation permission expired on Dec 31, 2017

PANJIM: The inter-state tussle between Goa and Karnataka over the Mhadei river water diversion issue is taking an ugly turn, with sources saying that the neighbouring State is in revenge mode. 

With the Goa showing little interest in bilateral talks on the water sharing issue, Karnataka is using its administration to build pressure upon Goa, which is dependent on the neighbouring State to treat its bio-degradable, non-recyclable waste.

Since January 1, 2018, Goa has stopped transporting its non-biodegradable, non-recyclable waste to Karnataka based cement companies – Vasavadatta cement at Sedam district and ACC cement at Wadi – as permission granted for transportation by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) expired on December 31, 2017.

When contacted, Goa State Waste Management Corporation (GSWMC) managing director Sanjit Rodrigues confirmed that Goa is currently not sending waste to Karnataka for treatment. “We have to work out some alternative,” he said without elaborating.

However, sources confirmed that the Karnataka government has directed KSPCB not to allow transportation of waste from Goa to their State. “The Karnataka government wants to take revenge. Their contention is when we are not ready to give water, why should they take our waste,” sources said.

Goa on an average generates around 250-290 tonnes of non-recyclable waste every month, which for the last month has been collected and kept at the Saligao waste treatment site.

Despite official communication, on two occasions – September 26, 2017 and November 11, 2017 – seeking a year’s extension in transportation, KSPCB is yet to reply to Goa. Rodrigues had written to KSPC member secretary.

“As you must be aware that the Government of Goa through the Monitoring-cum-working Committee for Solid Waste Management GSPCB has been transporting baled non-biodegradable non-recyclable waste to cement companies in the State of Karnataka since the year 2011 from various local bodies,” the letter by Rodrigues states.

The letter informs KSPCB about the switch over of the role of monitoring-cum-working committee to GSWMC. “The permission for transportation of non-biodegradable non-recyclable non-hazardous waste generated in Goa, is valid till December 31, 2017,” he said. “It is kindly requested to permit the continuation of such transportation of waste from the State to cement companies in Karnataka for another year,” he said further.

GSWMC had also approached Vasavadatta Cement in September 2017 to further extend the validity of its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed with Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) for handling of the waste by one more year. A reply to this is also awaited. “We are still awaiting reply from the KSPCB,” sources said.

This is not the first instance when Karnataka has played games with Goa. In April 2016, post Mhadei Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) rejecting Karnataka’s plea of 7.6 tmc of water, KSPCB had withdrawn permission granted to Hubali-Dharwad Common Biomedical Waste Treatment Plant (CBMWTP) from treatment of biomedical waste from Goa. Since then, the biomedical waste is being treated within the State.

Goa has been transporting non-biodegradable waste to cement companies in Karnataka since 2011 and till date over 90,000 tonnes of waste, after bailing, have been sent to the two plants for treatment/ disposal.

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