Govt to probe spends on Sonsoddo garbage handling




Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday assured the state legislative assembly that an inquiry will be initiated by the government into the money spent on the management and disposal of garbage at Sonsoddo in Margao from the period between 1998 to till date.

“A detailed inquiry will begin from tomorrow. The misappropriation of funds will be probed and required action will be initiated against the individuals, if we find corruption in the utilisation of funds,” said Sawant while responding to a question asked by Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro on the expenditure incurred by the government on the Sonsoddo waste plant.

As Opposition leader Digambar Kamat tried to corner the government by raising questions on utilisation of funds by the concerned departments and officials, Sawant retorted that Kamat could be also ‘responsible’ for the same.

“…You are the MLA of Margao. You were also the Chief Minister and MLA in 2011 when the government signed the agreement with Fomento (Sociedade de Fomento),” Sawant reminded Kamat. 

Faleiro urged the government to form a House committee for the inquiry.

However, the request was rejected by the Chief Minister.

Faleiro had sought details from the government on the agencies appointed for handling and processing the garbage at Sonsoddo under the MMC, and the payments made to these agencies.

Urban Development Minister Milind Naik informed that Goa Foundation was paid Rs 27.5 lakh for handling the garbage at the waste plant  from the period March 2004 to March 2006, and later again from November 2008 to April 2009.

Sociedade de Fomento was paid  Rs 4.5 crore from 2011 till 2019.

Naik did not provide the details on  the amount paid by the government to Komex India Private Limited, However, Faleiro asserted that around Rs 10 crore was paid  to this particular agency by the government.

Naik claimed that Hyquip Project Private Limited was not paid any amount. However, Kamat maintained that the government had provided mobilisation equipment to Hyquip Project Private Limited, which is yet to be recovered. 

The government has spent Rs 120 crore since 2012 for the management and disposal of garbage in municipal areas across the state, the Urban Development Minister said, adding that the reports on spends prior to 2012 were not available with the government.