Mapusa: After voicing their opposition to the expansion of the garbage treatment plant (GTP) on Saturday, agitated Saligao villagers on Sunday stopped 14 loaded wet garbage trucks for not following the norms while transporting garbage.
The villagers have threatened to continue with their protest and warned that open trucks and trucks not having the leachate tray will not be allowed in the village.
Deciding to fight unitedly, the villagers Sunday stopped 14 trucks transporting garbage to the GTP. The villagers claimed that the trucks violated garbage norms by spilling leachate on the village roads thus causing inconvenience to the locals. Eleven of these trucks were later allowed to enter the garbage treatment plant while three trucks were sent back as they did not have either a tank or leachate tray.
The first truck allegedly belonging to the Taleigao panchayat was stopped by the Saligao villagers around 8.30 am. Villagers claimed that the truck spilled the leachate on the road in the absence of a tray. Subsequently, the villagers called up the Calangute police and handed over the truck to them for further action.
However, after some time, when the villagers noticed the same truck near the GTP, they gathered in large numbers and along with local MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar, began stopping the trucks that did not have permission from the GTP and transported garbage in open trucks sans leachate trays.
According to police, driver of the truck, allegedly belonging to the Taleigao panchayat, was issued a challan under Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act and the truck was released.
Finally, police inspector Nolasco Raposo, who is holding the additional charge of Saligao police, visited the GTP and questioned the villagers for blocking the trucks. Later, only the vehicles complying with the garbage norms were allowed to enter the GTP while others were sent back.
Former sarpanch Eknath Oraskar said that the truck initially stopped by the villagers clearly violated the garbage norms. He said that moreover the vehicle belonged to the Taleigao panchayat, which is not among the list of 27 panchayats that dispose waste at the GTP.
Sarpanch of Saligao panchayat Sharadha Borkar said, “We will not allow trucks that spill leachate on the roads. Yesterday, we have decided to oppose the plant’s expansion. We have filed a complaint with the police and handed over a loaded wet garbage truck, which was spilling leachate on the road. However, the police have released the truck.”
Mario Cordeiro said, “Villagers are running out of patience now. All have come together to disallow trucks that don’t have leachate trays and are not properly covered.”
Local MLA Salgaonkar, who was with the villagers, said “We had a serious meeting yesterday against the plant’s expansion. Trucks spilling leachate came into our village today which we will not allow.
This is a prime issue and we will continue to stop such trucks that violate the garbage norms.”