The main objective of Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA) is to ensure that all the urban infrastructure facilities reaches the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), so that they can be self-sustainable to fulfil their requirements, as the tax they are collecting is barely enough to take care of their expenses, says says Ashok Kumar, Secretary to Chief Minister, Goa, Director, Municipal Administration, Goa, Managing Director, Goa State Urban Development Agency (GSUDA), in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of Elets News Network (ENN)..
“Saligao waste management plant is on a PPP mode and takes care of all the waste that gets collected. It is one of the best state-of-the-art modern facilities of waste treatment in the country.”
Give us an overview of GSUDA.
In Goa, all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are facilitated through GSUDA (Goa State Urban Development Agency). Currently, we are developing a common service delivering web portal to centralise schemes for the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) so that the user instead of visiting various different websites may avail the information on one common website. It will also have digital payment accepting facility. For instance, a citizen while procuring a trade license may make the payment through this web portal, along with filing an application. Its launch is expected within a month’s time. The idea is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India. All the payments which require payments to the ULBs, can be done through this portal. We have brought payment gateway vendors also so that the citizen doesn’t need to visit the ULBs offices in person.
What are the recent key achievements of GSUDA for the urban development?
The main objective of GSUDA is to ensure that all the urban infrastructure facilities reaches the ULBs, so that they can be self sustainable to fulfill their needs and requirements, as the taxation they are collecting is barely enough to take care of their expenses. We are trying to enhance the revenue base of the concerned ULBs by constructing municipal market, commercial complex, with grants from the State Government from which they can generate revenue out of it. Secondly, we have also taken initiatives like beautification of parks, mending the road, recreational activities, playgrounds, etc, are among few initiatives undertaken by the GSUDA. We are constructing building for those Municipal bodies which do not have their own building.
Saligao has its own waste management plant. Can you brief us about the waste management policy of Goa?
Saligao waste management plant is on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode whereby land has been alloted by the Government and the plant has been set up the private player. They take care of all the waste that gets collected. It is one of the best state-of- the-art modern facility of waste treatment in the country. Officials from other states are visiting this plant so that they can replicate this facility in their State as well.
The plant also takes care of Coastal Village Panchayat where it takes care of the waste generated by the tourists. It has a capacity of 100 metric tonne whereas the waste generated daily is about 400 metric tonne. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has already announced that three such plants will be set up in the State of Goa. For one such plant, land has already been handed over to Goa Waste Management Corporation. Once all the facilities become opeational, waste problem will be solved in Goa.
We are also setting up a plastic waste to fuel plant. Currently, we are sending all the segregated plastic waste to a factory in Karnataka. The transportation cost is huge. The plant will become opeational by March. The project is also in the PPP mode. The private player will also get some royalty out of the fuel which is generated out of the waste. It is a Rs 15 crore project. After this plant gets successful, we will replicate it at the other parts of the State as well.
“The main objective of GSUDA is to ensure that all the urban infrastructure facilities reaches the ULBs, so that they can be self- sustainable to fulfil their requirements.”
What are your plans for installing LED lights in the State?
We have entered into an agreement with EESL whereby all the conventional lights will be replaced by the LED lights. The amount which will be saved by replacing them, will be made to pay to EESL. We are also into an agreement with them for replacing conventional pumps (water and sewerage etc). We are replacing them with more energy efficient pumps. Currently they are auditing these pumps and once it is done, we will start replacing them.
How are you bringing change to the public transport in the State?
During the peak tourist season, tourists are fleeced by the cab drivers. We are working towards removing them, with the help of TaxiGo app, people are getting better facilities.