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Some Margao residents enjoy free garbage collection

Margao: Thousands of non-assessed residential premises, sub let houses and commercial establishments have got the benefit of collection of waste from door step without paying a rupee for the same. Several households in Margao, Curtorim and Fatorda are still paying Rs 100 as house tax and garbage fee but are earning lakhs from the sub let houses within.The promise of the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) of assessing these houses has fallen flat on the face and has been shelved. At present the MMC looks in no mood to put things in place and the garbage situation has returned to square one.
According to the MMC and a foot survey of Margao, several areas of the town have been occupied by migrants who stay in small rooms under a single house number. The number of non assessed houses has crossed the 1000 mark years ago. However, the number of these sub-let quarters is thrice or some cases 4 times the actual number of houses. In addition to that several commercial units, which are operating without trade licences, are also generating waste and availing services of the Civic body for free.A garbage collector, on the condition of anonymity, said: “I may have been allotted 100 or 150 houses but the actual households I collect garbage from is nearly double”. “This is a loss to the MMC and also an unpaid extra effort for us which the civic body cannot see,” added the woman.
The MMC At the meeting on February 4, 2016 the MMC had resolved to get the assessments of the non-assessed houses done before designing the garbage collection drive. The MMC had resolved not to go ahead without the assessment and had also resolved to form a survey team to execute the same.The Chairperson had then said: “We cannot start the garbage collection and outsourcing fully fledged as we have no idea what we are dealing with. The assessment is a must.”The MMC had later continued with the collection of charges clubbed with House tax and begun the collection while still promising the assessment. Over a year has passed for that resolution without a sign of the survey.
Herald spoke to Citizens of Margao. One of them Rohan Nayak said: “It is a tragedy that the MMC couldn’t survey the houses till date. This garbage fee collection simply means the honest citizens are paying for the services of the illegal households, sub-letting landlords and non permitted commercial establishments.”
Another resident of Margao Akshay Naik said, “Even after so much discussion and planning we can still see heaps of unpicked garbage all the time in Margao.”Meanwhile sources in the MMC have said that movement in the effect of the assessment of houses may happen after the code of conduct but there are no definite chances of the same happening.
The Chief Officer of MMC though confirmed that the quantum of the non assessed and the cases of sub-let houses getting away from the charges of the garbage collection may extend over 1000 or more. The Margao Municipal Council has, for the last one year, promised a lot of things but has failed to walk the talk. Will the MMC will wake up to the fact of loss of revenue and their inability to provide a justified waste collection service or will it continue to limp with the fractured arm is what the people are keen to see in this election season. [H]

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