50% panchayats fail to identify land for storage, segregation and waste treatment facility; State to set up Material Recovery Facility at village and cluster level
PANJIM: With over 50 per cent of the village panchayats (VPs) in Goa failing to identify land for storage, segregation and waste treatment facility, the State government is working on a plan to set up a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at the village and cluster level.
Directorate of Panchayats is working on a time-bound Waste Management Action Plan for all 191 panchayats, following directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that is monitoring the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules under Environment Protection Act. The Tribunal has fixed the hearing for Goa on the action plan on April 10.
“Out of 191 village panchayats more than 100 are yet to identify land for segregation, storage and waste treatment facility. Most of the VPs face problems in setting up the facility mainly due to ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) syndrome by some sections of society,” a senior official of the Directorate of Panchayats said.
On an average, a person generates about 300 to 600 gram of waste per day. Waste generation is high in urban area and less in interior villages.
“The government plan includes setting up of a Material Recovery Facility for recyclable waste and composting of organic waste facility at the village and cluster levels,” the official said. MRF is a specialised plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials.
As part of the action plan, the department has also prepared a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for door-to-door collection of waste, handling, transportation, storage and disposal of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at the village level.
The official further said that considering that some VPs are facing a fund crunch to engage sufficient workers for door-to-door collection and transportation, the government will have to take a policy decision once the model code of conduct, which is currently in force, is lifted.
The department is of the view that for effective implementation of solid waste management, community participation is a must and mere rules and fines will not yield results. “Also, people are reluctant to pay user charges which can offset part of waste management expenditure,” the officer lamented.