26 Mar 2022  |   08:12pm IST

Wall collapses at Sonsodo plant due to weight of solid waste resting against the wall

Wall collapses at Sonsodo plant due to weight of solid waste resting against the wall

Team Herald

MARGAO: A wall located at the back of the Solid Waste Management Treatment Plant at Sonsodo collapsed on Saturday morning due to the weight of the garbage inside the plant that was resting against the wall. A total of 1,200 metric tonnes of treated waste was inside the plant, which has come down on ground just outside the wall and is being cleared by a JCB machine at the moment.

Reacting to this incident, Margao Municipal Council (MMC) officials such as their engineers along with Chairperson Lyndon Pereira rushed to the site. MMC senior councilor from Housing Board Gogol, Sadanand (Paklo) Naik also visited the site.

Following a site inspection that was carried out, the MMC Chairperson has called for a special council meeting that would be held on Monday evening, where resolutions will be taken regarding the repair work of this wall and other measures. As per discussions with Naik and the MMC staff, Pereira pointed that they were in the process of writing to the government to use the 14th Finance Commission funds to repair another external structure that had suffered damages in the fire that took place recently on March 4, 2022 outside the plant. 

“We will propose to club this repair work of the wall and the earlier damaged structure using the 14th Finance Commission funds,” said Pereira.

“We are also writing to the Goa State Waste Management Corporation (GSWMC) to remove the waste that is inside the plant and to see if it can be placed at the legacy dump site,” Pereira added.

Pereira added that the wall had collapsed between 7 and 8 am in the morning and they were informed by workers at the site. Pereira and MMC engineers said work of recycling the waste was going on but at a slow pace.

The MMC engineer said that the waste is being treated by natural processes and not using the old machinery of Fomento Green that is lying abandoned at the site as it has become outdated. Pereira added that due to no electricity, machinery could not be used inside the plant due to no electricity.

While Fomento, the former concessionaire, had handed over possession of the plant back to the MMC, the engineer explained that the waste collected there is turned every 45 days using a JCB machine after the moisture leaves the waste and that the dry waste is screened thereafter.

The engineer explained that three types of material are derived from the waste, compost, inert and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). Heavy material, plastic and other heavy material that is separated after the screening process is also stored inside the plant at a different location while the treated waste is also stored inside the plant at another location.

However, as councilor Naik pointed out, the process to treat this garbage is very slow and that has caused the issue wherein the amount of waste inside the plant has reached maximum capacity even as waste is being brought her on a daily basis. He added that the waste is so huge in size that it had caused breakdown of the machinery too. 

For clarity, there are two waste dumps at Sonsodo, the one inside the plant and the one opposite the plant at the legacy dump site.

While bioremediation work of the legacy dump site is being carried out by GSMWC, there was a High Court order that did not permit MMC to shift the waste from inside the plant to the legacy dump site.

“We will wait for GMWC to reply by Monday and see what can be done then,” Pereira added.

MMC officials said estimates for the repair work of the SWM plant are being prepared and that they are hopeful that the tender for the same can be passed by a week’s time at the earliest.

The MMC engineer added that they had prepared the estimates for the structure outside the plant that got damaged in the fire which is around Rs 60-70 lakhs. This includes the electrical transformer that was burnt, whose repair cost is around Rs 49 lakh. The structure would house the office of the plant.

It is also suspected that methane gas is being produced from the waste and this had led to the fires that occurred inside the plant in the past.


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