The stalemate between the government and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) over 1,72,000 sq metres of Bainguinim land for the construction of Solid Waste Management Plant ended on Wednesday with the intervention of the TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai.
CCP Mayor Surendra Furtado agreed to transfer the land to the government on the condition that the latter gives an undertaking to CCP that the land will be used only for garbage treatment plant and not for any other purposes and will come up within a timeframe and that only garbage generated in Se Old Goa village panchayat jurisdiction, Panaji town and Taleigao village panchayat besides Santa Cruz and Merces will be treated.
Addressing media persons, Furtado revealed that the TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai on behalf of Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate met the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in the night and sorted out the differences. Monserrate said, “Earlier we were apprehensive and scared to part with the land. We now have decided to hand over the land on the conditions that it can only be utilised for garbage treatment plant and not for any other purpose and only garbage generated from Panaji, Taleigao and Se Old Goa will be treated besides they can even include garbage from St Cruz and Merces areas also.”
While elaborating, Furtado said that the Chief Minister has agreed to give CCP an undertaking that the land will only be used for solid waste management plant besides giving the timeframe in which it will be built.
He also informed that the problem was that the directorate of Municipal Administration had written to CCP but the Chief Minister never spoke over the issue to CCP adding, “We know that he is working in the interest of the city of Panaji and it will happen only after negotiations. The only issue was that the letter addressed to CCP was brief. Now, our people talked to the Chief Minister and he has clarified. Our second fear was that the High Court was also monitoring the issue very closely so I took a legal opinion.”
Furtado further said, “A draft has been prepared with the help of former collector south N D Agarwal and the new Commissioner Ajit Roy for by-laws for CCP’s working. For the last 15 years there were no by-laws and CCP was functioning only on acts. The draft will be studied and lawyer Pronoy Kamat will assist them.”
Earlier, there was verbal duel between the Mayor and the opposition councillor Pundalik Raut Dessai on certain objections raised by him in draft on CCP by-laws. Agarwal and Pronoy Kamat also explained to the councillors the importance of the by-laws and promised to do rectification upon suggestion made during the meeting.