Garbage ‘dump’ irks Verna folk

A few villagers of the Verna panchayat had their doubts confirmed on Thursday when they, along with some green activists, followed a garbage pick-up truck, and were shocked to find it dumping waste in an open space behind the Verna industrial estate.

They then filed a complaint with the authorities concerned, including the Verna police, who rushed to the site. The Goa state pollution control board has scheduled an inspection of the site in the next few days

"We were shocked to find so much of garbage being dumped there," said Judith Almeida, an activist who rushed to the site. "It was not segregated, and you could make out that they have constructed a composting unit without any permissions or following any pollution board rules, to burn the garbage."

The truck, though, managed to escape from the site, but soon, another one arrived at the scene. While residents of Verna were upset as they claim that the site is close to the origin of the river Sal (located behind the industrial estate), they alleged that their village had been suffering from the stench from the garbage dumped. "We have also been told by villagers, and conveyed to the Verna police, about another site where broken glasses and other forms of non-biodegradable garbage could be found.

Verna police officials, whose station is located a few kilometers away from the site, have said that they have asked the driver of the pickup truck to present the necessary permissions to them, and that the GSPCB has been intimated about the possible violations.

Activist John Philip Pereira has vowed to follow up the matter to its logical conclusion, while villagers of Verna said that they would take up the matter at this Sunday's gram sabha. Pereira alleged that garbage from neigbouring pancahyats and from coastal villages were also being dumped at this site. [TOI]