Sonsoddo biomethanation project: Margao civic body okays GWMC action plan

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Margao Municipal Council chairperson and councillors in a heated discussion over the Sonsoddo biomethanation project during a meeting held on Tuesday.

Margao: Margao Municipal Council (MMC), on Tuesday, during its special meeting, approved an action plan submitted by the Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) pertaining to installation of seven biomethanation plants in a phased manner for treating, on an average 65 tonnes of waste generated daily, at Sonsoddo dumping site.

A GWMC official and an environment engineer Sanjeev Joglekar explained to the councillors and MMC officials, through a presentation, about the biomethanation plants.

The action plan was prepared by the GWMC after officials and the minister concerned Micheal Lobo along with Margao and Fatorda legislators carried out an inspection at Sonsoddo a fortnight ago.

Joglekar said after examining all the issues at the Sonsoddo site, a technical proposal was submitted to the MMC regarding redressal of those issues.

He said due to want of space at the site, the  GWMC has suggested installation of biomethanation plants in a phased manner – first, beginning with three plants of 5 tonnes per day (5 TPD) and, after clearing of the accumulated waste, 4 more plants.

“We require one independent shed for storage of the baled waste. MMC has to provide space of 2,000 square metres and construct a shed. The biomethanation plants will help generate electricity,” he stated.

Councillors Rupesh Mahatme, Arthur D’Silva, Babita Prabhudesai, Doris Texeira, Ketan Kurtarkar sought to know who would finance the project and whether such plants have been set up elsewhere and, if so, how effectively they were serving the purpose.

The meeting witnessed commotion as some councillors sought to speak at the same time directing queries at each other instead of the chairperson.  

Councillor Mahatme said that the MMC would not be in a financially sound position to support the project.  “However, we (MMC) can provide land for it,” he said.

D’Silva asked whether the existing plant can be upgraded as it will be cheaper for the MMC.

Replying to this, Joglekar said that there are two issues to look at – firstly, waste is not being fully segregated and secondly, the quantum of waste hampers treatment process and takes up space.

He highlighted that the biomethanation is a solution to handling the Sonsoddo waste.

The councillors demanded the chief officer and the technical section of the MMC to respond to the queries raised regarding the project.

Mahatme said if MMC had to construct a shed at Sonsoddo for installation of the biomethanation plants, it would take many months to do so, pointing out how the baling machines installed there have left to corrode by the civic administration.