The high powered committee on Sonsoddo issue supported the one-time payment of Rs 7.31 crore to Fomento for setting up the waste treatment plant at Sonsoddo, with Chief Minister Digambar Kamat agreeing to provide financial aid to meet their commitments. A power point presentation was arranged by Chief Officer Prasanna Acharya for the benefit of the City Fathers and the members of the high powered committee.
After the presentation, the chief minister informed media persons that there is a common view that the Margao civic body should pay the entire amount of Rs 7.31 crore one time to Fomento which will avoid the financial burden of more than Rs 12 crore if the payment is staggered for the next 25 years.
The chief minister further said that if the council decides to pay Fomento Rs 7.31 crore as per the request for proposal (RFP), the Government will not mind financially assisting the MMC. He said that the civic body would obtain a bank guarantee of Rs 2 crore from Fomento till the setting up of the waste treatment plant at Sonsoddo. And beyond five years, Fomento would submit Rs 50 lakh bank guarantee to the council, he said and added that these precautions should take care of any apprehensions in the future.
The draft concession agreement will now be placed before the MMC meeting on 21st January for approval by the City Fathers.
Kamat said that if the MMC shows positive results on this front, the Government would not mind sanctioning additional financial assistance to meet further requirements. The people of Margao will not keep quiet if the waste plant is not set up within its time limit; he said and informed that even smaller councils like Cuncolim and Bicholim have their own waste treatment plants.
Meanwhile, Councillor Pratima Countinho has asked the civic body to provide a copy of the draft agreement to the city fathers before the council meeting on 21st January to study its various aspects. At the presentation, she also wanted to know why the high powered committee has not finalized the consultant till date and whether bio-medical waste and carcass of animals would be accepted at Sonsodo after the plant is set up at the site.
Damu Agitated: Fatorda MLA Damu Naik, one of the members of the high powered committee was agitated over MMC’s failure to provide the copies of the draft concession agreement before the power point presentation.
Damu left the meeting in between and later informed media persons that the civic body should have made available copies of the draft agreement to facilitate the city fathers and members of the high powered committee to study the provisions. He also wondered whether there could be open discussion on 21st January at the council meeting if the drafts are not made available in advance.