Goa govt wants to fill quarries with garbage, fined by NGT
The Goa government wants to fill up existing laterite stone quarries with municipal garbage, but the National Green Tribunal wants to have none of it.
The Tribunal on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Goa government, while rejecting its proposal to use garbage to top up open laterite stone quarries, in North Goa's Pernem sub district, in which four students drowned last month.
The Tribunal was hearing a petition filed by the Goa Paryavaran Sangarsh Samiti, which had accused the Goa government's Mines and Geology department of criminal negligence in not filling up the exhausted quarries, which eventually led to the death of the student quartet.
"Apart from giving the details of peripheral actions taken, a preposterous suggestion has been made for filling up the mined out pits with solid waste in consultation with a Norwegian company. We, therefore, have no hesitation in rejecting the report as unacceptable. If the proposal is to be accepted, it would amount to giving license for commission of a criminal offence apart from it being in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the NGT observed, while calling the proposal of the Mines and Geology department to fill up the quarries with municipal solid waste as "preposterous".
The Tribunal also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the state government, on account of the latter's "insensitivity" displayed in the proposal and directed that the fine be deposited with the Goa State Pollution Control Board within 15 days. Four students of the Don Bosco High School in North Goa had drowned in the quarries while they were picnicking in the vicinity.IANS