MARGAO: Close on the heels of the High Powered Coordination Committee (HPCC) having it’s meeting yesterday to deliberate on the never ending Sonsodo Saga, Shadow Council for Margao questioned the validity of the HPCC in the first place.
“No doubt this government can do anything whatsoever, however the HPCC committee, legally and technically seizes to exist”, stated Mr. Savio Coutinho, SCM Convener and former Chairperson of MMC during whose tenure the HPCC Committee was constituted.
Briefing the media along with Arch. Carlos Gracias, Adv Snehal Onskar, Mathin Karol, Damodar Onskar and Iftiyaz Sayed Mr. Coutinho, while displaying the notice of the HPCC Committee meeting held on 22nd May, pointed out that the Notice clearly established that the Committee was “constituted for the setting up of Solid Waste Management facilities on Design, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer(DBOOT) basis”, and hence the meeting chaired by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant had practically no relevance whatsoever”, Mr. Coutinho said. What has been decided at the HPCC Committee meeting yesterday, is totally contradictory to the very notice of the meeting, Mr. Coutinho charged.
He further revealed that this committee was formed in 2010 at the time when a plant was to be set up at Sonsodo, and for which tenders were invited by the Margao Municipal Council.
Under the alibi that the MMC did not have the powers to scrutinize and decide on awarding the work orders, this committee was constituted by the then Chief Minister Mr. Digamber Kamat, with the sole intention of awarding the work to a particular agency, which actually did not qualify in the bidding process, he charged further.
The plant was set up, and what followed is common knowledge, he said. With the failure in effective handling of the waste, the system set up with the blessings of Margao MLA eventually derailed. And hence, now as the purpose for which the HPCC was formed stands completed, even though unsuccessfully, the validity of this committee automatically expires, Mr. Coutinho opined.
For mysterious reasons every Chief Minister who assumed office after 2012, somehow preferred to function as head of this committee, through which committee very little has been delivered till date, except that several crores of public funds have been spent, SCM lamented.
“It is very interesting and a most unique situation that the present Chief Minister is the 6th CM heading the HPCC(Digamber Kamat 2010, Manohar Parrikar 2012 & 2017, Laxmikant Parsekar 2014, Pramod Sawant 2019 & 2022); and having the highest functionary of the state government heading this Committee, a permanent solution is still evading Sonsodo”, Mr. Coutinho says.
While on the other hand, several other towns have set up waste treatment facilities much later, and are operational aswell, he points out.
SCM said that it was a million dollar question for Madgaonkars whether the respective CM’s admitted their failure and accept responsiblity for the failures at Sonsodo, or whether the local leaders in control of the Margao Municipal Council, more specifically Margao MLA Digamber Kamat, is systematically shifting the blame on the government and the HPCC, Mr. Coutinho wondered.
With every Chief Minister convening these much hyped meetings, and delivering absolutely nothing, compels us to conclude that the government indeed was responsible for this mess at Sonsodo in some manner or the other.