Goa is the smallest state in the country. It is also considered to be a haven for permanent residents and tourists alike. Having so many residents and people visiting is bound to create some problems. Like the garbage problem. Each year, the amount of garbage generated seems to grow bigger and bigger and no one can seem to prevent it from happening. Saligao has a waste management plant but the garbage issue seems to be greater than it can manage. Proper waste management is something that seems to elude the state authorities responsible for the same. There have even been volunteer based attempts at waste management like the local initiative – Team Up To Clean Up Goa which seems to have become dormant as well.
Now, the state government has initiated a scheme wherein 10 village panchayats will get an added incentive of 5 lakhs each provided they emerge strongly in proper waste management.
Evaluating proper waste management
Speaking at a Swacch Bharat Mission event, the Panchayat director, Sandhya Kamat told reporters that performance of panchayats on waste management will be evaluated by Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC).
According to a report from TOI, the evaluation process is based on a number of factors —
- Whether the site for waste management is demarcated and operational.
- Whether door-to-door collection is done through an agency or workers.
- How effective this door-to-door collection of garbage is.
- If the segregation of garbage is done at source.
- The number of black spots, the quantity of dry waste and refused derived fuel (RDF) sent to GWMC.
- Whether wet waste is processed effectively within the jurisdiction of the panchayat or sent elsewhere for processing.
- Whether a village waste management plan has been created.
- Whether garbage management committees have been formed and are monitoring the collection of garbage.
- Has a complaint registering mechanism been put in place should a problem arise.
At their respective gram sabhas, a resolution ought to be passed fixing a separate garbage tax for residential houses and commercial establishments in the village.
The process of proper waste management is a lengthy one
The process of maintaining proper waste management is a lengthy one taking into consideration the other details that go into the same.
Kamat also said, “The 191 village panchayats in Goa will be provided an annual financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh towards door-to-door collection, segregation, and disposal of garbage, including dry plastic waste, within their jurisdiction. The panchayats will be divided into four categories – those within the vicinity or periphery of 12 km of the airport will receive an additional Rs 7 lakh; those situated on the coastal belt or with tourism potential will receive an additional Rs 5 lakh; suburban located panchayats on the boundary of the four major municipalities of Mapusa, Panaji, Margao, and Ponda will receive an additional Rs 5 lakh and those having a weekly village market or whose annual income is up to 25 lakh will receive an additional Rs 3 lakh.”
“The objective of the scheme is to empower village panchayats to effectively collect, segregate, treat and dispose of garbage within their jurisdiction,” she added.
How it will unfold
Funds for this scheme will be provided under the Goa Panchayats (Grants to Tackle Garbage Menace) scheme, 2017 which is valid until December 31, 2023.
To avail of the scheme, the panchayat will have to adopt a resolution at its fortnightly meeting requesting the director of panchayats to sanction the grants. Within 10 days, the panchayat secretary will have to prepare and submit a detailed proposal to the block development officer (BDO) who in turn will scrutinise it along with the Directorate of Panchayats’ extension officer (rural engineering) or junior engineer before forwarding it to the director within 15 days of receiving it.
The director will scrutinize the proposal, either approving it and sanctioning the grants or rejecting it and informing the concerned panchayat. The first installment of 30% of total eligible grants will be released in April or May following which the GWMC will evaluate and issue a certificate to the panchayat. Upon production of this certificate, the next installments of 30% and 40% of the total eligible grants will be released in the months of September and January, respectively. The sanctioned grants will be provided only once during the financial year. The grants can also be utilized for making cages for collection of plastic, purchasing tricycles for collecting garbage, etc. However, purchase of bailing machines is prohibited under this scheme.