Questioning the Minister for Garbage Management Michael Lobo whether he plans to turn Saligao into ‘Sonsoddo’ of North Goa, Saligao MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar said that the Saligao waste treatment plant is outdated like the approach of the minister.
Salgaonkar was speaking at a public meeting held at Saligao which was attended by over 500 people on Saturday.
Salgaonkar said that garbage sense should be taught to residents so that less garbage is generated adding, “We have to empower the panchayats and train their manpower to come up with small plants in every village of 10 tonne per day.”
He further said, “When the plant was then proposed public hearings were done, why not take the consent of people while expanding the plant. Attempts are being made to turn Saligao into a garbage hub.”
“Comments are being made that Jayesh is trying to revive his political career which is not true. This is not a fight between me and the Minister for Garbage Management as I have never spoken on nude party, drug abuse, conversion of hills, filling of fields etc. I have spoken about the treatment plant which is in my constituency. The first minister who spoke on expansion of the plant is Lobo, hence we have to organise this meeting to oppose the expansion,” said Salgaonkar.
The villagers of Saligao had come together to raise their voice against the proposed expansion of Saligao treatment plant from 100 tonne to 250 tonne.
Residents said that the garbage of respective areas should be treated in their areas and the Saligao plant should be utilised for treatment of waste from Saligao and Calangute constituencies only.
Villagers passed a resolution that there should be no expansion and no incinerator. It was also resolved to have a dedicated road leading to the plant not through Saligao and that all dumps inside and outside the plants should be moved. Vehicles transporting garbage should be fitted with GPS trackers, leachate tanks and should prevent plying before and after school hours.
Addressing the gathering, Dean D’Cruz, a member of Saligao Civic forum, said, “Only 5 per cent of the garbage going to the plant is recyclable. The plant is not functioning properly as every day, sewage tankers are sent to Tonca in Panaji with liquid released from the garbage.”
President of Communidade Austin D’Gama, Congress leader Tulip D’Souza, Saligao sarpanch Shraddha Borkar, PTA member of a local school and a member of Save Saligao Ramesh Ghadi appealed to everyone to be united in opposing the plant.