Patients choke on Sada waste plant smoke & fire


For the last three days smoke and, at times, small fires have been seen emitting from the heaps of garbage at the waste treatment plant of the Mormugao municipal council (MMC) at Sada.
Francisco Mendes, station officer, fire services, Vasco, told TOI, "The fire started on Monday night and from then smoke has been reported now and then."
He said the fire tender has made three trips in four days to the plant, undertaking the extinguishing operation for two hours per trip.
On Thursday, thick clouds of smoke could be seen over the plant.
MMC chief officer Agnelo Fernandes said, "We are not happy at all with the performance of the plant. Things have come to a complete standstill over the last few months."
Dr Nimish Pillai of the Mormugao port trust (MPT) hospital that's about 150m away from the plant said, "Though we have become habituated to the foul smell from the plant, the last few days have been hell; especially for our patients. They have started complaining of suffocation because of the smoke."
Sources claimed that the plant has been given on lease for 20 years to a Mumbai-based private firm, and for the last 12 years its operations are not making the MMC any profits.
While compost produced at the plant is still lying at the premises, sources said the plant was last operated before the monsoon. Shortly after that the machinery broke down, leading to the garbage heaps piling up. [TOI]