‘Make me Minister for Garbage’, desperate BJP MLA tells Goa CM

Panaji: Desperately angling for a ministerial berth, Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo on Friday urged Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to appoint him as “Minister for Garbage” in order to resolve the coastal state’s garbage disposal woes.

Speaking to reporters here, Lobo, who earlier this week was promised a “bigger role” in the government by Chief Minister Sawant, also said, that lack of proper disposal mechanism for the burgeoning garbage dumps poses a big challenge for the state which is known as a beach tourism destination.

“For the last 25 years, so many MLAs, ministers and Chief Ministers travelled the world in their efforts to resolve the garbage issue. But they did nothing when they came back. There should be a ministry of garbage now. There are many kinds of ministries, but no garbage ministry, perhaps because it smells bad. No one wants to be a Garbage Minister, but I am ready,” Lobo said.

Lobo has in the past, openly complained about the BJP not offering him a Cabinet berth, despite playing a key role during the formation of the BJP-led coalition government in 2017, although the BJP was in a minority in the 40-member state Legislative Assembly.

Goa’s inability to manage garbage especially in the coastal areas, which often sees heaps of filth lining its roads and fields, has also been an area of concern for tourism industry stakeholders who have pleaded with the state government to resolve the issue.

Over the last one week, the town of Margao in South Goa, is facing a severe garbage crisis after a fallout between a private company managing the garbage dump on the town’s outskirts and the state government over dump management processes.

Lobo also said that the garbage ministry could be solely funded from the garbage cess collected by the government on various transactions.