A southwestern German town, known for its clinical fetish for cleanliness and garbage management, will be Goa’s inspiration as India’s best-known beach tourism destination finally tries to sort out its ever-burgeoning garbage woes.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to picturesque Kaiserslautern last week and inspection of the city’s efficient and comprehensive garbage handling systems have impressed him so much that he now plans to replicate it in Goa to solve “our long pending garbage woes”.
With tourism in Goa increasing nearly triple-fold in the last decade or so, the state has been unable to handle the 150 cubic tonnes of garbage which the industry generates daily.
What has compounded the issue further has been the inability of the state government to identify a single site big enough to dispose of garbage, both organic and non-organic. As a result, it is not unusual to find piles of garbage strewn along the roads as well as near urban hubs in this beach tourism destination, visited by 2.6 million tourists annually.
He is already planning three such facilities in Goa, where over 300 tonnes of garbage can be treated every day. The facilities can also generate revenue, Parrikar said, “by selling fuel pellets and gas which are commercially viable by-products of the garbage management process”.
Incidentally, Goa’s inspiration to look towards Germany is ironic, considering the fact that German tourists and Goans residing in Germany have been lobbying with the state government to manage its garbage.
“A lot of the feedback that the society (Indo-German Friendship Society Goa) gets is that Germans no longer want to come here because Goa cannot solve its garbage problem,” Aurobindo Xavier, a professor of Goan origin teaching in a university in Munich, told IANS in an e-mail.