Nuvem sabha opposes Verna waste treatment plant

Oct 31, 2022 | 06:03 IST

Nuvem sabha opposes Verna waste treatment plant

Decides to oppose the Jetty Policy 2022 project; claims that neither the environmental impact assessment has been carried out nor the panchayat body concerned has been given confidence

Team Herald

MARGAO: The Nuvem village panchayat has decided to oppose the waste treatment plant project on the Verna plateau, citing that it will seriously affect the Sal River, in addition to agricultural fields and water bodies .

At the regular gram sabha meeting held on Sunday; chaired by Sarpanch Frida D’Sa, the members strongly opposed the waste treatment plant project.

Members also claimed that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report was presented to the public and that the government did not inform the relevant panchayat body about the project.

The sabha also decided to oppose the proposed Jetty Policy 2022 and demanded that it be dropped immediately.

Indira Rodrigues and Walter Rodrigues raised the issue during the meeting and alleged that the said jetty policy should benefit large companies involved in the coal sector.

“The government has kept people in complete darkness about the pier policy. Marine life will be badly affected in addition to the khazan, agricultural fields and in general the environment will be destroyed, if the policy is implemented. It is only for transporting coal,” Indira said.

Later, the resolution was moved and it passed unanimously.

Regarding the Verna Plateau waste treatment plant, it is pertinent to note that also in 2020, the village panchayat had passed a resolution opposing the waste treatment plant project. The villagers of Loutolim, Verna and Nagao have also expressed their strong objection to this project.

Everson Valles, a local, said the proposed project is huge and he intends to address the waste of almost 39 panchayats and has been proposed to build on the Verna plateau.

“Bodies of water, agricultural fields, springs and, most importantly, Salcete’s lifeline, the Sal River, will be severely affected. The Sal River has already been polluted due to industries in the Verna Plateau. The livelihoods of hundreds of people who depend on the river and agriculture will also be affected,” he said.

In addition, he said that there will be a possibility of leachate flowing onto the roads, and plastic and other trash being strewn everywhere, as garbage haul trucks move on the roads of the town.

Zarina D’Cunha, a social activist, said the government did not do any environmental impact assessment before going ahead with the project. “It seems that no applied scientific spirit has been applied to the project. The proposed project will be built on the origin of the Sal River and so there are more and more chances that it will lead to more pollution in the river,” she said.

The Gram Sabha members present at the meeting supported the request to oppose the garbage treatment plant project in Verna, and a subsequent resolution was taken in this regard.

Few members of the gram sabha even urged the panchayat body not to keep the resolution on file but to send it to the relevant department at the earliest.

During the meeting, Sarpanch Freda D’Sa called on the villagers to cooperate in preparing the list of migrants residing in the jurisdiction of the village panchayat.

“We decided and few initiatives were also implemented to keep the village clean. Garbage collection is done at regular intervals,” the Sarpanch informed.

One of the gram sabha members demanded to take serious note of the illegal dumping of trash in addition to Everson’s suggestion to start with a ‘trash sentry’ program in the village.

During the meeting, several village committees, including the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC), Garbage Committee, Village Children’s Committee, etc. have been reconstituted.

BMC President Jose Roque Andrade explains the function of the BMC and how BMC members and panchayat parish members should contribute to the BMC.

He stated that the validation of the PBR is not final, some suggestions/recommendations are given by the Thematic Expert Committee on the PBR during the validation that need to be fulfilled/done. He said the PBR is open to continued contributions regarding biodiversity and called on gram sabha members to provide contributions.

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