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May 8, 2012

SLIDEBOOM - MARGAO: The proposed scientific capping of Sonsoddo garbage dump has raised concerns among those who were once involved in providing solutions to the problem.


Solid waste management expert Joe D'Souza, who was earlier on the Margao municipal council (MMC) panel to monitor the garbage management exercise at Sonsoddo, has written to chief minister Manohar Parrikar alleging a scam in the making and demanding a vigilance inquiry in the matter.


In his letter to Parrikar, D'Souza has raised questions regarding capping the existing garbage dump when the project concessionaire was, in fact, tasked with treating the dump.


"I was surprised and shocked to know that after years of tomfoolery by successive consultants and garbage handling contractors, Sonsoddo garbage dump yard is sought to be capped. Why is Ahmedabad-based consultant, PU Asnani, who earlier promised to end the garbage woes of Margao by appointing a firm to involve itself in solid waste management, incurring crores of rupees expenditure of Goa state funding, is now offering a disastrous capping solution to the garbage woes of Margao," D'Souza wrote to Parrikar.


D'Souza has urged Parrikar to "put a full stop on an urgent basis to the mega scam involving the capping of the Sonsoddo garbage by instituting a vigilance inquiry at your earliest."


"The scandalous approach to the garbage scam at Sonsoddo has to be exposed. As such, Asnani and the Ahmedabad-based firm have collected consultancy fees to offer solid waste management solution. Now that he has failed miserably, the untenable approach of capping the Sonsoddo site is being sought instead of the garbage treatment solution which was his task," D'Souza's letter adds, urging the chief minister to "punish the guilty as it involves flushing off of public money and endangering the lives of the residents of Margao."


D'Souza has also raised questions over the efficacy of the capping exercise maintaining that scientific capping is a "disastrous" solution for an unscientific landfill site.


"The landfill site at Sonsoddo is totally unscientific. A scientific landfill is lined by impermeable material consisting of various levels and only then garbage is dumped into it. This ensures that the groundwater table is not contaminated. However, in the type of capping proposed to be done at Sonsoddo, what you are actually doing is trapping the methane gas generated by the garbage dump. The methane gas will then force its way downwards, leading to the leachate entering the groundwater table thereby contaminating it," D'Souza said.


D'Souza was earlier engaged by the Corporation of the City of Panaji as its consultant on garbage management. He is a former professor of microbiology at Goa University.


Asnani was among those initially shortlisted by MMC for empanelment of consultants for the Sonsoddo capping exercise. After he also submitted his expression of interest (EoI) for the project, the high power committee over Sonsoddo project, headed by Parrikar, struck down MMC's selection of Asnani, following which the civic body selected Gurgaon-based JM Environet (P) Ltd, and Cochin-based KR Gopalkrishnan for empanelment as consultants for solid waste management projects of the council. MMC will invite tenders for capping Sonsoddo garbage dump after receiving the detailed project reports from the two agencies.


What caused a flutter in certain quarters was the fact that MMC had invited EoIs for capping Sonsoddo dump only after Asnani-in his capacity as MMC's consultant for the Sonsoddo garbage treatment plant-had submitted a report to MMC confirming the presence of toxic metals in the dump and suggesting that the dump be capped following specifications of scientific closure as per the Municipal Solid Waste Rules 2000. TOI was the first to point out the incongruity in Asnani's empanelment for the capping exercise as that would have amounted to Asnani evaluating his own bid.


Anshita Asnani, managing director of UMC Global Pvt Ltd (UMC) Ahmedabad, the firm headed by PU Asnani, in an email interview with TOI said, "UMC's role was limited to advising MMC on whether scientific capping of Sonsoddo dumpsite was an appropriate option" and that neither UMC nor Asnani have been appointed as consultants for providing garbage treatment solutions to the MMC.


"Considering the environmental, social and economic aspects, and considering the changed circumstances after the award of contract to the concessionaire (ie availability of land to MMC for treatment and disposal of waste adjacent to the Sonsoddo dump site), we had submitted our report to the municipal council," A Asnani said.

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Posted: May 8, 2012 1:16am
May 8, 2012

 [THOUGHTS.COM] - TELEGRAPH BLOGS - There's a great scoop in The Australian today about more lying climate scientists making stuff up.

CLAIMS that some of Australia's leading climate change scientists were subjected to death threats as part of a vicious and unrelenting email campaign have been debunked by the Privacy Commissioner.

Timothy Pilgrim was called in to adjudicate on a Freedom of Information application in relation to Fairfax and ABC reports last June alleging that Australian National University climate change researchers were facing the ongoing campaign and had been moved to "more secure buildings" following explicit threats.

Needless to say the University did everything it could to prevent the investigation, arguing that the release of the climate scientists' emails (why am I getting an eerie sense of deja vu here?) "would or could reasonably be expected to…endanger the life or physical safety of any person". But doughty Sydney blogger Simon Turnill appealed against this stonewalling drivel and won. And here's what was revealed when the 11 relevant emails were eventually released.

Ten of the documents "did not contain threats to kill or threats of harm."

Of the 11th, the Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said: "I consider the danger to life or physical safety in this case to be only a possibility, not a real chance."

No wonder the university was so keen to keep things quiet. Contrary to the claims of the "climate" "scientists" – widely reported, of course, in the left-wing media – there had been no death threats whatsoever. Yet their vice-chancellor at the time – now the Australian government's Chief Scientist – Professor Ian Chubb decided to move them to "more secure buildings" without, he now admits, having read the emails to see whether these threats actually existed.

Maybe it's time someone did an FOI to see whether the UEA's dodgy and discredited Phil Jones really did get any of those "death threats" he claims to have received after Climategate and which allegedly drove him to consider suicide. Speaking for myself, if Phil Jones released a report claiming that grass is green I'd feel compelled to go outside just to double check. You'll remember that after Climategate, the University of Easy Access's main concern was not so much to investigate any potential malfeasance by its Climatic Research Unit gang of FOI-breaching, data-fudging, scientific-method-abusing, grant-troughing second-raters as to put the right spin on them. That tame "woe is me" interview Jones gave to a compliant Sunday Times was part of a strategy arranged by the public relations company UEA had employed – no doubt at lavish taxpayer expense – to make the disgraced Jones and his department look more sinned against than sinning.

I've a strong suspicion that the emails I get in my inbox most days from the ecoloons who congregate at places like the Guardian's Komment Macht Frei are far more foul-mouthed, repellant and poisonous than anything these junk scientists have ever received. The difference is, I do my damnedest to stick to the truth and I'm not being paid zillions of pounds or dollars at public expense to promote the most expensive and mendacious scam in the history of science. There's just no justice is there?

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Posted: May 8, 2012 1:12am


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