Tue, 14 Jul, 2020

Navelim farmers object to RDF storage of Sonsodo dump on GSUDA-acquired fields

11th December 2019, 05:04 Hrs

the goan I network

MARGAO

Margao Municipal Council workers had to beat a hasty retreat from the GSUDA acquired fields opposite the Margao railway station after the local farmers vehemently objected to the plans to utilise the fields for the storage of Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) generated through the remediation of the Sonsodo legacy dump.

Angry farmers, who are cultivating the fields, descended at the site when MMC workers had started work on erecting poles in the fields for the barricading of land admeasuring 5,000 sq mts ahead of the temporary storage of the RDF.

The farmers wondered whether fields, which are being cultivated by the farmers, can be used for the storage of garbage and other forms of waste when the produce is to be consumed by human beings. 

A farmer Claude Dias told the media that the local farmers of Navelim have been cultivating the land of their ancestors and wondered whether the MMC is out to destroy the fields once and for all. “Farmers and soldiers constitute an important component of any society. But, we fail to understand how the Margao Municipal Council has decided to zero in on this agricultural land for the storage of the RDF and garbage,” Claude said.

Another farmer pointed out that agricultural fields, more so fields which are being cultivated by farmers, is not a place for storage of garbage and other forms of waste and rejects.

The farmers have warned that they will mobilise not just the farming community but the villagers of Navelim and other neighbouring villages if the MMC does not do a rethink on its plan to storage the waste rejects on the land.

MMC officials, on the other hand, informed that the land in question, is a property acquired by the Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) around a decade and half ago. In fact, the land was in the news around a decade ago when the then government headed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat had drawn up plans to rehabilitate migrant traders displaced by the Rawanfond traffic junction beautification project.

Sources informed that the MMC workers had gone to the fields to start the barricading work ahead of the remediation work at the Sonsodo legacy dump. As per the High Court directions, the MMC was directed to forthwith barricade the GSUDA area admeasuring 5,000 square metres and the work was scheduled to commence immediately.

The Court had further directed the officers from the Goa Waste Management Corporation as well as from the GSUDA to be present at the site so that there are no excuses on the part of the MMC to commence with the barricading operations.

The High Court had directed to use the land in question for temporary storage of the Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) initially, till April 2020. The GWMC shall assess the situation by April 2020 and decide on the further course of action with regard to the place of storage.