Sonsoddo landfill ignites again, firefighters suspect short circuit | Goa News

Margao: In an incident reminiscent of the hell of just over two years ago, a major fire broke out at the Sonsoddo landfill on the outskirts of Margao on Friday afternoon. State Fire and Rescue Department firefighters battled raging flames and brought the blaze under control in an operation that lasted more than five hours.
However, smoke continued to billow from below the landfill until late in the evening, even as trucks full of mud were dumped there in an effort to smother the fire.
Fire and Emergency Services Director Nitin Raikar, who oversaw firefighting operations, said the fire started from “a line ignition source overhead high voltage of 33 kV” which crosses the landfill. Margao station fire officer Gill D’Souza, who led the fire crew, said the short circuit caused the high-voltage line to break and land on the landfill, causing the fire.
“The fire has been extinguished, but there is methane trapped inside the landfill which is causing a fire. We are dumping mud to prevent the fire from starting inside the landfill,” said D ‘Suza.
Salcete’s assistant collector, Prasad Volvoikar, also visited the site and provided an update on the situation.
Following the incident, Margao Municipal Council (MMC) Chief Officer Agnelo Fernandes wrote to District Collector Ruchika Katyal asking her to instruct the Electricity Department to move the lines to high voltage away from the landfill.
In December 2019, a private agency investigator suffered severe burns after being electrocuted at the same site. The electrical spark generated by the short circuit ignited a raging fire as the large pile of dry waste piled up near the legacy landfill caught fire.
It took firefighters nine days to extinguish the blaze and clear the smog. The incident had occurred while level survey work for volumetric calculations of the legacy landfill was underway to facilitate bioremediation work.
The level rod (the staff) held by one of the workers standing on top of the pile of dry baled waste accidentally hits the 33 kV overhead high voltage power line, electrocuting him.
Savio Coutinho of the Shadow Council of Margao expressed his disapproval of the council’s inaction to take action to prevent the fires. “A mere two years ago, the Goa State Pollution Control Board fined the MMC Rs one crore. However, they learned nothing from it. We now want to call on the board to fine elected officials instead of recovering taxpayers’ money,” Coutinho said.

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