The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) has asked temples and deaneries to put proper infrastructure in place focussing on segregation of dry and wet waste for collection and safe disposal.
The corporation has identified 25 temples and two deaneries as major waste generators and decided to collect, transport, process and dispose of waste generated at these religious places throughout the year provided they undertake waste segregation. They have also been suggested to set up composting unit for green waste.
The committees of these religious places will now have to ensure that all the waste generated in their premises is collected, segregated and placed in separate bins on a daily basis for its safe disposal at solid waste management plant. They will also have to sensitise the visitors and devotees on waste disposal.
The corporation has conducted a statewide survey and found that there was no proper segregation of waste at the source of generation while most of these temples are popular and witness high footfalls during specific days or around festivals and besides devotees, large number of tourists also visit these temples. Moreover, the waste is also generated in huge quantities in the temples’ marriage halls, community kitchen and during annual zatras attended by large number of people.
“If they agree with the system of segregation of waste generated at the temple premises and within the marriage hall, residential accommodation and canteen facilities, then we will start the collection method. We want to put things in proper place but most of the temple committees are slow in responding to our system of waste collection,” GSWM managing director Sanjit Rodrigues said.
Most worshippers visit shrines with floral offerings. In return, the priest of the temple customarily gives back a bud or garland as a sacrament (prasad) from the floral offerings deposited on the deity. Sadly, the same flowers, subsumed by devotees’ sentiments turn into large decaying heaps towards the end of the day.
“We are working to sensitise and place a system of segregation in the 25 identified temples. We have also identified two deaneries at Verna and Calangute and the first phase of sensitisation has already begun in these deaneries,” Rodrigues said.
The decision to collect waste for safe disposal was taken following a survey report which found that village panchayats are unable to handle the waste generated by these temples due to limited resources and certain villages have more than two temples in Kavlem, Marcel, Mardol, Fatorpa, where footfalls are high.