Panaji: A proposed garbage treatment plant near world-famous monuments in Goa, which are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and visited by a large number of tourists, has drawn opposition from the locals.
Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) has planned an integrated sanitary landfill and solid waste management plant at Banguinim ward of Old Goa village, nine km from here.
The local residents said the proposed facility was against environment laws and the project needs to be scrapped.
"The site is within inhabited areas and close to the world heritage sites in Old Goa," said Inacio Braganza of Banguinim Action Committee, a body of prominent locals.
He said having a garbage treatment plant at such a place would be in violation of norms framed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
The committee, which comprises the people from Old Goa, has received support from the local Church. Old Goa has a cluster of Churches, including Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the holy relics of St Francis Xavier are preserved.
Braganza said the area houses an ancient historical laterite stone fort wall and an exquisite arch belonging to the Kadamba kingdom, which ruled the state between 10th and 14th century.
The landfill and waste management site is barely 500 metres away from the famous "Shiva Temple of Bramhapuri", within 700 metres from "Cruz dos Milagres" (Church of the Miraculous Cross) and just 1.5km from the Churches of Old Goa, St. Augustine Tower and other historical monuments, he said.
"The marked area being a plateau serves as a natural catchment for rainwater which replenishes the ground water table. Interference with such an area can have adverse impact on ground water sources," Braganza maintained.
The committee referred to a MoEF notification which says such a facility "shall be away from habitation clusters, forest areas, water bodies, airports including airbase, monuments, national parks, wetlands and places of important cultural, historical or religious importance."