Govt will have to pump `42 cr to clean up Sonsodo dump
03rd December 2019, 02:08 Hrs
Hazard a guess how much it will cost the State exchequer to get rid of the over half-a-century old Sonsodo legacy dump?
A whopping Rs 42.30 crore, if one goes by the preliminary estimates that Sonsodo plays host to around 2.35 lakh tonnes of waste. And, sources in the know say the cost may touch the Rs 50 crore mark if a fresh survey points out that the tonnage of existing is much more than the findings of the last survey.
The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC), which has shortlisted a contractor to rid Sonsodo of the legacy dump, says that it will cost around Rs 1800 to treat a tonne of existing waste through the bio-remediation process. GWMC Managing Director, Levinson Martins, however, hastened to add that the Rs 1800 included the huge cost of transportation of the dry and plastic waste to cement factories in Karnataka and to cart away the inert and other waste to the land fill sites identified by authorities.
The Sonsodo legacy dump is spread across an area admeasuring 16,000 sq meters owned by the
Margao Municipal Council. The dump had outlived its utility years ago and was the lone dumping site of the Margao Municipal Council for around five decades, before the Civic body acquired additional land admeasuring 50,000-odd square meters adjoining the dump yard to set the solid waste treatment plant.
Incidentally, the MMC had around half a decade ago proposed to cap the Sosnodo site on the lines of Gorai in Mumbai. The capping project was estimated to cost the Civic body around Rs eight crore, before the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) decided that the best option at
Sonsodo was not to capping but remediate the waste and save the huge land for the future.
GWMC MD Martins, who was then the Member Secretary of the Goa State Pollution Control Board, recalled that GSPCB headed by Chairman Dr Jose Manuel Norohna had taken the stand in favour of remediation of the legacy dump at Sonsodo with the sole objective of saving the land for
“Land being scarce, more so in urban areas, the GSPCB had decided that the best way to tackle the
legacy dump was not by capping, but via remediation”, he said.
Justifying the decision in favour of remediation of the legacy dump, Martins said that remediation of
waste outweighs capping, when the process helps to retain the land. “Apart from saving the land,
which would have been lost through capping, just see the advantages to the environment and ecology, which cannot be measured in terms of money”, he said.
He further said that capping is not a one-time exercise, but requires sustained maintenance of the