South Goa villages meet on garbage


 The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has proposed a plan to adopt Cansaulim-Arossim-Cuelim as a role model village for waste management.
TERI conducted a focus group discussion with relevant stakeholders in charge of waste management at the Cansaulim village panchayat hall on Friday. A cross-section of coastal villages including Cansaulim, Velsao, Majorda, Benaulim, Betalbatim, Varca and Sancoale were represented at the meeting by the sarpanchas, deputy sarpanchas, panch members, and members from the panchayat garbage committees.As highlighted in TERI's DISHA Goa report, problems related to waste management will continue to grow, and thus, effective waste management systems and mechanisms need to be put into place urgently. Rising population, both residential and floating, will push up the waste generation figures across the state of Goa, making it extremely difficult for the agencies in charge, which are already grappling to deal with the current quantum of waste.
The study provided various recommendations from reduction and scientific management to the need for upgrading infrastructure, technological interventions, regulatory reforms and enforcement in general focusing on urban areas of the state. Besides the lack of authentic data on village waste generation, most village panchayats in Goa are far behind in dealing with the waste in accordance to the prevailing legislation. The situation is more pronounced in the rural areas of the state which in reality are peri-urban areas with lifestyle, consumption and waste generation patterns on par with the average urban resident.
In order to bring the study recommendations to fruition, TERI seeks to detail out an implementation plan so as to set up a sustainable waste management model at the village level. In order to gain quality insights so as to develop the necessary proposal, separate FGDs for panchayats in the hinterland and coastal belt in the north and south districts of Goa were conducted.
All the stakeholders were in agreement that solid waste management is a common problem faced by the coastal villages. The discussion also provided valuable insights in terms of the current waste generation and disposal patterns that are in place in these villages, and threw light on the constraints and challenges that these villages face. It also sought to gauge their views on the potential solutions that could be undertaken. Many of the village panchayats were not aware of the available funding schemes that can be availed from state as well as central government, for instance funds can be availed under the Rural Garbage Disposal Scheme 2005, and the Goa Panchayat (Grant of FinancialAssistance to the Village Panchayats to deal with Plastic Garbage Menace) 2007. There was also general agreement that sustained and long-term awareness and capacity-building programmes need to be undertaken for initiating doorstep collection of segregated waste and its processing in a decentralized manner. Plastic waste which largely comprises of thin polythene bags was also endorsed to be a common problem in all villages.
In response, TERI has agreed to develop a proposal for an integrated pilot-scale implementation project at the village-level with proper waste processing achieving zero-waste disposal. TERI has also assured the village representatives to help them prepare proposals to seek funding from various government sources and the training of key members of the garbage committee for sustained awareness and capacity building on waste management. [TOI]