Margao: Refuting the allegation made by Margao Municipal Council (MMC) chairperson Babita Prabhudesai that 11 panchayats of Salcete were involved in dumping garbage in the MMC jurisdiction’s precincts, few sarpanchas have challenged the civic council to catch those dumping the garbage and penalise them.
Prabhudesai has alleged that Salcete’s eleven panchayats, mostly the bordering panchayats were disposing of unsegregated garbage in the civic jurisdiction and that the MMC had no option but to clear it off.
Seeking to get response on the allegation, this daily contacted few sarpanchas and panchas of the 11 panchayats. All of them, however, denied that the panchayats or the villagers were dumping any waste in the MMC area.
“MMC chairperson should identify those people who dump the garbage and hand them over to the police. We do not dump waste from our area along MMC jurisdiction roads. In fact people from Margao are disposing of waste along the Aquem-Baixo roads,” said sarpanch of Aquem-Baixo Siddesh Bhagat.
“The panchayat collects dry waste from the village and is also making efforts to collect wet waste, but the problem is about land for garbage collection centre,” he added.
Sehar Shaikh, sarpanch of Davorlim-Dicarpale, said that their panchayat undertakes collection of dry waste twice a week.
“We had asked the villagers to dispose of the waste by digging a pit. At present, we do not collect wet waste. This is because we do not have land to segregate garbage. In my village also, people from other villages dispose of waste. Hence, MMC chairperson cannot paint all these panchayats with the same brush,” she added.
Sarpanch of Rumdamol-Davorlim could not be contacted. However, a panchayat member denied that anybody from the village was dumping waste in MMC areas. Similarly, a panch of Navelim panchayat flatly denied the claims of MMC chairperson that Navelim people were dumping waste in other areas. He said the waste disposal system is in place in the village of Navelim.
Benaulim sarpanch Diella Fernandes also could not be contacted. The panchayat secretary P Kamati said that “we collect around 4 tonnes of dry waste in a week and after baling, it is handed over to the state pollution control board. We are trying to construct a shed to undertake wet waste collection.”
Nuvem sarpanch Elvita Costa said the question of garbage from Nuvem being disposed of in MMC area does not arise as they already have a garbage treatment plant. “We collect dry and wet waste from the village. While the dry waste is transported to Saligao waste treatment plant, the wet waste is treated at garbage treatment plant set up in the village. If any villager of Nuvem dumps waste in Margao, let the chairperson or MMC catch that person and impose fine,” she said.