By Ashokkumar U Desai, TNN | Jan 22, 2013, 02.04 AM IST
CANACONA: Indiscriminate dumping of garbage in open spaces by tourism stakeholders including shack, tent and restaurants operators forced Agonda villagers to stage a protest rally to the Agonda panchayat office on Sunday.
Fifty percent of seasonal tourism stakeholders at Agonda have no permission from the panchayat office nor from the fire and emergency services nor do they have a systematic garbage management facility. “As a result, they dump garbage in any open space at night time,” said Saplesh Desai, panch at the Agonda panchayat.
He blamed tourism stakeholders for dumping garbage along village roads, water bodies, residential areas, roadsides, and forest areas and also blamed Agonda sarpanch Dijula Pagi for this.
Likewise, garbage littered around in the municipal jurisdiction of Canacona municipality has drawn stinging criticism from all quarters of society as the treatment plant set up at a cost of over Rs 2 crore has been rendered ineffective. The situation is becoming worse with every passing day, but no relief in sight.
Known for its famous beaches, Canacona will slowly lose its tag as a tourism destination if a proper policy is not put into place. Palolem, Patnem, Rajbag and other coastal areas apart from Chauri is littered with refuse, giving an ugly look to the villages. Villagers also fear that the unsightly environment condition will slowly make it a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases.
Pramod Fal Desai, deputy sarpanch of Agonda village panchayat, said “Though the garbage treatment plant at Dumanem, on the way to Agonda, was meant to treat garbage collected from the taluka, it is posing health-related problems to locals as well as passersby owing to lack of proper treatment facilities.”
Municipality supervisor D Krishna said, “Only five metric tonnes of garbage can be treated at the treatment plant on a daily basis, but, the collection has been more than 10 metric tonnes during this season every day.”
Canacona municipal council (CMC) engineer Ajay Fal said that as per the agreement, the garbage plant is being operated by company executives for one year till municipality staff are trained and their job is to provide only electricity and water, besides some minor machinery maintenance.
Agonda sarpanch Dijula Pagi complained that the garbage treatment plant built at a cost of around Rs 2 crore has become a breeding ground for flies and bacteria. The people of Agonda are affected since a huge quantity of garbage is being dumped at the plant everyday and the plant is operational once in a week, the sarpanch said.
A starred hotel has already been served a notice for dumping garbage along the roadsides, said municipality Inspector D Yesso. When CMC chairperson Ajay Bhagat was questioned on the issue, he said that the garbage treatment plant on land admeasuring 4,225 sq m, at Dumanem is not sufficient to treat garbage collected daily, he said he will take up the issue before the council at the monthly meeting.
Speaking to TOI, Pradip Naik, chief officer of the Canacona municipality, said he had instructed the municipal engineer, supervisors and inspector to take strict action against those who violate laws by disposing garbage in public places.
Canacona Community health officer Vinod Naik said that vector-borne diseases have increased in Canacona and the government needs to pay urgent attention towards garbage being dumped in open spaces.
SOURCE: THE TIMES OF INDIA