Panchayats upbraided for not doing enough on garbage disposal

JOAO SOUSA M | NT

Margao: Goa Waste Management Corporation director
Levinson Martins on Tuesday pulled up the village panchayats for not doing
enough to tackle the garbage menace in their backyards.

Martins had earlier warned the panchayats to expedite the
process to set up material recovery facilities as mandated by the Solid Waste
Management Rules, failing which adverse steps could follow.

On October 1, the directorate of panchayat put a
restriction on the issuance of construction licences and occupancy certificates
by village panchayats until the compliance of the Solid Waste Management Rules.

The move comes during the festive season when many people
want to move into their new houses.

However, the curbs could spell trouble for the real
estate industry of the state. A builder said the restriction will not only
cause delay but will also increase the prices of houses.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Martins said that
statistics available on garbage collection has indicated that the panchayats
have not been doing enough in terms of
dry waste collection: some villages have collected just 25 kg of dry waste over
a period of 10 years. He opined that generation of dry garbage should be high
in Salcete villages, where consumption level is high.

The Salcete village panchayats must augment their dry
waste collection, he said, adding that there has been a huge gap between the
garbage generated and the garbage collected.

Hence we see a lot of garbage on roadsides, open spaces
and into water bodies, he explained.

Martins exhorted the panchayats to identify land and set
up material recovery facilities, and get them approved by the Goa State
Pollution Control Board.

Stating that disposal of wet waste is not such a problem
in villages as there is land available to dispose it, he said the quandary is as regards the dry waste
which has to be collected and segregated before being sent to the waste
management corporation for proper disposal.

Sources in the panchayat directorate suggested that the
panchayats should enhance the door-to-door dry garbage collection.

The government has extended all support to the village
panchayats, including financial backing, but the panchayats are not doing
enough, the sources complained.

They insisted that every panchayat must have an
independent material recovery facility, adding that the government had even
offered financial support to the rural self-governing bodies to set up their
own garbage plants.

However, there has been poor response to the
initiative.

The government has also enhanced the funds to the
panchayats for garbage management from Rs 1 lakh to up to Rs 7 lakh, depending
on the jurisdiction of the panchayats.

Sarpanchas, on the other hand, have pointed to several
problems plaguing the villages.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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