Panaji, July 29 (IANS) The influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa on Sunday expressed its opposition to the proposed garbage treatment plant near the historically significant Old Goa Church complex near Panaji, claiming it is in close proximity to the 17th century UNESCO-recognised monuments and that the proposal would not be acceptable to any “right-minded” Goan.
“Moreover, thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit the historical monuments every day. Having a waste management site in close proximity will certainly cause nuisance to them and create a bad image for the state. Thus we hold to our stand that a garbage treatment plant at Bainguinim, Old Goa, cannot be accepted by any right-minded Goan,” the Church’s Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media said in a statement.
The statement also said that the plant’s site identified by the state government was also in close proximity to other sites of historical and religious significance.
“The Church had stated earlier as well that the land being acquired was a historical site. On the southern side of the proposed site, there is an ancient historical laterite stone fort wall and an exquisite arch belonging to the Kadamba kingdom (dynasty). The proposed landfill and waste management site is just 500 metres away from the historical Shiva Temple of Bramhapuri…” it said.
The Church’s statement comes at a time when the state Legislative Assembly has been debating setting up of the garbage treatment plant over which the opposition has also raised objections.
Minister for Garbage Management Michael Lobo has however insisted that he would go ahead with the construction of the plant, claiming that the latest technology would be used to set it up, which would do away with the fears of the Church as well as local residents related to health hazards and unhygienic conditions.
Waste management has emerged as a key issue in Goa, with the state travel and tourism industry facing flak on account of mismanagement of garbage which is strewn in public areas, including its world-famous beaches.