Monday 6 May 2024

Elections 2024 and mining implications for Goa

Let's accelerate sound utilization of District Mineral Trust Fund for the support of mining affected People



Electoral system in India is currently facing formidable challenge of electronic rigging with the way Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are deployed to almost de-franchise people of India and usher in dictatorial system. Free and Fair elections might have been feasible to some extent with paper ballots. Indian current ethical system transmitted through Election Commision of India (ECI) did not allow any of these possibilities. Even Judiciary has betrayed people of India on this count. The consequences of such situation is the collosal collapse of voter trust in electoral system of EVM. The era of Guaratees is founded upon subtracting the basic guarantee of vote being registered in favour of candidate to whom voter votes. There is such a lot of evidence to this fact in India including latest proofs pointed out by Advocate Sadanand Vaingankar of Corruption Abolution Party in Margao for which he was criminally charged and detained for four hours under arrest past week.

This is an eco-system of Electronic corruption that jostled confidence of ruling political party to win election by winning over 400 seats in Lok Sabha.

Along side planned Electronic rigging of democratic mandate must be viewed something related: Electoral bonds. Electoral bonds to the Political Parties is brute camafulage of corporate hijacking of agendas as well as purchase of political candidature. It's a dramatic transition of democracy into corporate prey garden.

Implication of the above political cocktail is indeed highly threatening and we need to take steps to counter its dangerous implications immidiately through Resilience. While entire Country is facing perilous situation over increasingly corrupt and sophisticated polity Goa stands to loose the most.

These elections being that of Central government it has direct Implications to mining in Goa. Mining has unfolded biggest scam of Rs.35,000 crore in Goa and recovery of this amount is still pending due to various political reasons and power dynamics.

Mining industry has fielded Pallavi Dempo on BJP ticket in South Goa. Pallavi was born in family involved in Mining - Timblos of Margao and married in Mining family - Dempos of Panaji. Both these families are involved in eco-criminal activities through open cast iron ore Mining for past three generations and accumulated wealth sufficient for next 30 generations. In fact the election affidavit of Pallavi Dempo records her spouse Srinivas Dempo currently having mining lease in Sindadurg, Maharashtra worth several crores of Rupees. Dempo Family is responsible to getting globally notorious mining company Vandata Limited and its subsidiaries in Goa. The call for CBI investigations in the Mines transfer was never agreed to even though there are grounds for such investigations. 

Pallavi Dempo has disclosed assets worth more than 1000 crore in election affidavit and one can only guess as to how much might have remained undisclosed and off the record.

Fielding of Pallavi Dempo is significant indicator of both dissatisfaction with politicians to cover up and lobby for mining industry in Goa as well as desire for accelerating corporate take over of polity at the highest level in India.

All over Goa both Timblos as well as Dempos - like other mining companies - has profited from mining aggression of Goa's ecology, land, ground water, springs, lakes, water wells, agriculture, horticulture, forest, rivers. These families has been outstanding predators as well as parasites that has sucked out Goa economically as well as ecologically.

Crores of royalty collected by Goa State from the sale of minerals is stored in District Mineral Trust Fund (DMTF) without disbursing to mining affected areas. These funds should have been utilized for the people in mining belt that have been victims of mineral wounds to their geographies.

Candidates contesting Lok Sabha Elections in North as well as South Goa has to put this issue on agenda and get DMTF funds dispersed towards restoration of minerals wounded geographies of Goa in North as well as South Goa.

It is an irony that while mining industry is eager to take off yet again but it has paid no attention to the disbursement of DMTF to mining affected areas. Srinivas Dempo headed Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has been vocal in demanding dredging and deepening of Mandovi, Zuari and Cumbharjua Canal but it is not bothered about disbursement of DMTF to mining ravaged localities in Goa.

Politicians at all levels have been a failure to call for disbursement DMTF to mining affected people proving that they care a dam for Goa's minerally affected livelihoods.

It is rather strange that no political party thought it fit to speak up for the sound utilization of DMTF considering mining is so often being reffered to as backbone of Goa's economy. No Candidates of any Political Party or Independents thought it important to care for the mining affected people by pushing the DMTF issue on the election agenda even as Goa goes for the polls on May 06, 2024.

It is absolutely important to make DMTF functional and we need political parties to support and care for this.

Those who agree and willing to collaborate to make DMTF functional reach out to the author at 9923336347 or on email sebydesiolim@gmail.com


Dr. S.A. Rodrigues
Convenor,
Bharat Mukti Morcha,
Goa State 

Monday 29 April 2024

Fishing manifesto for Parliamentary Elections 2024

Hello Candidates for Lok Sabha Elections from Goa!


Greetings from All Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union!


We wish to draw your attention to few points that need your attention as a candidate for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Goa:


1. National Waterways


All the six rivers (Chapora, Mapusa, Mandovi, Cumbharjua, Zuari, Sal) be excluded from National Waterways Act 2017. This will make rivers legally safe for fishing.



2. Marinas


Two proposals (Nauxim and Sancoale) for Marinas in Zuari river be canceled. Leased deeds for both be canceled. This will ensure unhindered fishing in Zuari river.


3. MPA


Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) be excluded from the scope of Major Ports Authorities Act. This will be helpful to make fishing safe for small scale fishers.


4. Blue Flag


Blue Flag certification proposal for Siridao and other beaches in Goa be revoked. Beaches are declared as fish landing centre and This should not be disrupted by providing exclusive and reserved access to any beach in Goa.



5. Subsidies


Fishing communities fuel subsidies and other facilities be increased for small scale fishers.


6. Plastics


Rivers of Goa be cleaned up of plastic garbage by stopping manufacture of plastics.


7. Mining


Mining in Goa has led to siltation of rivers. It has negatively affected livelihoods of small scale fishing communities. Recent scientific study by Scientists from NIO etc has published evidence to this effect. This needs be taken on board as Indian government is moving ahead to resume mining in Goa.


We request you to keep above seven points on your agenda I times ahead.


We will be happy to extend any further inputs on the above points should you decide to contact us back.


Thanking  you,


Yours sincerely



Shaila D'mello

President



Laximan Mangueshkar

Secretary

Thursday 25 April 2024

Vedanta to put 254 mining trucks per hour on Bicholim Public roads?

 From:


Ramesh S. Gauns

Pajwada, Bicholim,

Goa


M: 9270085105


Date: 25 April 2024



To,


Director of Mines and Geology,

Government of Goa,

Panaji, Goa


Subject: use of public roads, village roads, district roads for mining transportation...regarding 


Sir,


It has come to our attention that your office is about to provide opinion to the Honorable Goa Bench of Bombay High Court in P.I.L. W.P No. 6 of 2024 recommending transportation of ore on Public Roads, Village roads, District road in Bicholim in order to facilitate Vedanta Limited Bicholim Block - I Mines ore transportation. 


We request you to kindly refrain from allowing such transportation. Transportation of ore to the rate of 120 trips per hour - as recorded in Vedanta limited letter dated 08 April 2024 to your office - would mean invasion of public roads with mighty reckless manner threatening road safety with impunity thereby violating 2022 Supreme Court directions on road safety. 


Environmental Clearance (EC) dated 23 January 2024 records at page 28 of 39 response from Vedanta Limited that total ore that will be transported per day is 12658 tonnes in 1205 trips per day and 127 trips per hour with total vehicles that will be put on road to and fro totaling 254 vehicles per hour. This is sure remedy for creation of a catastrophe for 237 days per year that you need to prevent. 


Moreover you are well advised to organise public consultations with affected people residing close to the vicinity of the roads before providing any permissions to use existing public roads, Village roads, city roads as well as district roads for transportation of ore at such such high rate as 120 trips per hour.


Vedanta Limited has claimed in response recorded in Environmental Clearance page 18 that they have 4.54 km of dedicated road and 0.94 km MDR-20 Public Road.


Directorate of Mines and Geology is not privileged to initiate violation of EC condition to make a mockery of EC. It's legitimacy is very vital by maitaining It's integrity.


Any irresponsible decision on your part would lead to the unpredictably dangerous consequences to the Public Health in Goa and your office will be held responsible and accountable in a fitting manner.


Therefore we assert once again: Please organise public consultations on the issue of granting road permits to transport ore from the Mines to Sarmanas Jetty with affected people of Bicholim Taluka prior to granting of any road permits to Ms Vedanta Limited.


Thanking you,


Yours sincerely,


Ramesh S. Gauns

Monday 15 April 2024

Objections to Blue Flag Accredition to Siridao beach

15 April 2024


To,


The Director of Tourism,

Government of Goa,

Paryatan Bhavan,

Panaji, Goa



Subject: Objections to Blue Flag Accredition to Siridao beach


Sir,

We have come to know from media reports (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/crz-nod-given-for-amenities-meeting-blue-flag-standards-at-siridao-beach/articleshow/109014044.cms) that Goa Tourism Department has taken nod from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to provide Blue Flag certification to Siridao beach.


Our investigations in this regard has revealed the following insights:


1. The purpose of getting Denmark standards of Beaches is known as Blue Flag certification for portion of Siridao beach is for catering to the exclusive Tourism purpose. 


2. After interaction with gillnet fishers on Siridao Beach it is revealed that none were consulted by your office before taking the Blue Flag decision. This way of decision-making that exclude and dispense fishing communities from governance is a political tragedy.


3. The method of decision-making adopted by your office with regards to Blue Flag certification for Siridao beach threatens to expel fishing communities at Siridao from the fishing based livelihoods currently practiced at Siridao beach. This we totally object to.


4. Brief history of Blue Flag certification of Goa's Beaches reveals that Velsao and Miramar fishermen had already rejected the same during past years for creating threats to fishing occupations by intruding on to fishing boat spaces.


5. Fishing communities are bestowed with the role of "stewards" of the coast in SSF voluntary Guidelines, a piece of international law that India is signatory too. Non-consulting fishing communities on Blue Flag certification of Siridao beach therefore constitutes violation of international fishing jurisprudence and you are required to review your style of functioning vis-a-vis fishing communities on Siridao Beach and all other beaches in Goa. 


6. We request your office to maintain cleanliness of all the Beaches in Goa. Current status of Beaches in Goa including Siridao beach is pathetic. Beaches are littered with plastics and broken glass pieces. Due to wrong touristic publicity to Goa on its liberal liquor policy several groups of people are seen visiting Beaches, consuming alcohol and afterwards break the bottles on the beach itself creating health and safety issue for everyone working and visiting the beaches. This gross abuse has made several beaches in Goa including Siridao beach dangerous. You are requested to launch a program to address this rather than creating exclusive tourist use beaches with all the infrastructure objectionable to fishing communities.


All Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union (AGSSRFU) in a meeting held on 11 April 2024 examined this issue of Siridao beach from fishing perspective and decided to initiate suitable moves.


We hereby request your office to abort your plans to designate Siridao beach as Blue Flag certified destination for exclusive tourist enjoyment and stop your practice of excluding local fishing communities from the decision-making process concerning Goa's coastal and riparian geographies.





Thanking you,


Yours sincerely,




Shaila D'mello

President 




Laximan Mangueshkar

Secretary



Copy to


Director of Fisheries, 

Panaji, Goa



Member-Secretary, 

Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority, 

Panaji, Goa



Shri Viresh Borkar,

M.L.A, 

St. Andre Constituency,

Goa



Sarpanch, 

Village Panchayat,

Siridao, Goa

Monday 8 April 2024

Blue Flag certification to Siridao beach?

 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/crz-nod-given-for-amenities-meeting-blue-flag-standards-at-siridao-beach/articleshow/109014044.cms


Whom did in Siridao Tourism Department consult before taking this decision of declaring Siridao beach for Blue Flag certification?


Why fishing Orgnisations/ Associations/Unions involved in fishing activities in Zuari river not consulted?


Why did consultative mechanism has been dispensed with by Goa Government?


Why this Blue certification issue being pushed through authoritative manner?


Why no one from Tourism Department nor from Coastal Zone Management Authority visited fishing communities engaged in fishing in Zuari before taking such major decision on Siridao Beach?


Tourism Department currently treats fishing communities with contempt as is reflected from its order to do away with need for NOC from Fisheries department in August 2022. Is Blue Flag another aggression and insult to fishing communities of Zuari river that needs Red Flag from fishing communities?


Aren't fishing communities on Siridao Beach live in peace without any colour classification to the beach?


Haven't Tourism Department messaged up fishing in Mandovi River through casinos already? This Department and GTDC want to spread their invasive tentacles even further to take entire Goa captive?


This issue is not just about Siridao. It's about Tourism Department taking control of Beaches unilaterally dispensing with consultative process and issuing declarations from the ivory tower. Who gave them the authority to do so?


Few years back in 2019 Tourism Department had declared Miramar beach for Blue Flag certification. Consultation was organised by North Goa Collector. At the consultation local fishermen opposed Blue Flag certification plan and Government had to stall its plans.


The issue is about pushing back institutional invasion of Goa's coast from Tourism Department and about reclaiming also the lost grounds. We need concerted efforts in this direction in innovative ways.


Please write back with your ideas or launch your own initiatives in this direction.

Sunday 7 April 2024

Mechanised fishing reported near Dona Paula Jetty

 07 April 2024


To,


The Superitendent of Police,

Coastal Security,

Panaji, Goa 



To,


The Director,

Department of Fisheries,

Panaji, Goa


To,


Captain of Ports,

Government of Goa,

Panaji, Goa


Subject: Mechanised fishing-Serious matter concerning WP 2844/23 at Goa Bench of Bombay High Court


Madam/Sir,


This is to bring to your attention that mechanised fishing through purse seine fishing gear was carried on within two kilometers from Dona Paula Jetty on 07 April 2024 between 5.30 pm to 6.00 pm.


This indicates that all the measures that Director of Fisheries and Superitendent of Fisheries, Coastal Security has promised in the Court affidavit is not functional as no patrol boat from any of the concerned Governments are seen near Dona Paula Jetty.


You are requested to take urgent note on this breach and take necessary steps to avoid similar incidents in near future.


Thanking you,


Yours sincerely,



Shaila D'mello

President, AGSSRFU




Laximan Mangueshkar

Secretary, AGSSRFU


Copy to:


Chief Justice,

Goa Bench of Bombay High Court, Porvorim, Goa

Thursday 4 April 2024

Compulsion to converse in English by Fisheries surveyor

03 April 2024


To,


The Director of Fisheries, 

Government of Goa,

Panaji, Goa


Subject: Compulsion from Fisheries Surveyor to speak 

English by fishers of Bambolim, Nauxim villages


Madam,


We wish to bring to your attention that English speaking has been made compulsory for fishing communities by Fisheries surveyor of Goa Fisheries department in Bambolim, Nauxim villages.


Currently mass of fishing communities of these villages doesn't have fluency in and understanding of English and most mode of verbal communication is in Konkani. This has created obstacles in fishing related communications with Fisheries Surveyor deputed in these villages. We appreciate good intention of your Fisheries Surveyor in his approach towards English though currently not equipped with skills to do so.


In order to make fishing communities proficient in spoken English dealing with Fisheries Surveyor we request you the following:


1. Depute staff from your office to train adult fishing community members from Bambolim, Nauxim and other villages/places/localities/territory within the administration Jurisdiction of Fisheries Surveyor Harish Prabhu to teach English. 


This will alleviate linguistic hardships currently faced by fishing communities due to adamant insistence to speak speak English with Mr. Prabhu.


We will collaborate with Fisheries department as English proficiency will be beneficial to fishing communities towards self-empowerment while dealing with such Fisheries surveyors and beyond. 


Till this arrangement for adult Education program for spoken English is carried on appropriate instruction be given to the above named Fisheries Officer to make communications fishing communities easy and seemless preferably in Konkani till linguistic skills of our communities are upgraded by your office.


Thanking you in advance.


Yours sincerely,




Shaila D'mello

(President)





Laximan Mangueshkar

(Secretary)

In solidarity with Caranzalem fishers of Arabian Sea

03 April 2024


To,


The Director,

Department of Tourism,

Government of Goa,

Panaji, Goa



To,


The Director,

Department of Fisheries,

Panaji, Goa


To,


M.L.A

Panaji Constituency, 

Panaji, Goa


Subject: Objections to Water sports at Caranzalem beach


Madam/Sir,


It have come to our attention through media reports that traditional fishing communities engaged in small scale fishing at Caranzalem beach are facing threat to their livelihoods due to push for water sports by the Goa Tourism Department. We share links to the media reports that went online on 21 March 2024 to you as under:


https://www.heraldgoa.in/News-Today/Caranzalem-raponkars-oppose-demarcation-of-water-sports-zone-at-Caranzalem/219263 


https://youtu.be/paYYK0Vupnw?si=oikzSbQZx-p-GsJv


All Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union took cognizance of the above two media reports during our meeting on 27 March 2024 and examined the seriousness of the looming threats before fishing communities due to the water sports at various sections of Caranzalem beach.


Resolutions to support fishing communities at Caranzalem beach against water sports was passed during the meeting.


In the light of the above context you are requested to desist from engaging in any kind of water sports activities at Caranzalem beach that is disturbing and disruptive to the traditional and small scale fishing activities.


Kindly communicate this message to all the concerned for necessary action.


Thanking you,


Yours sincerely,



Shaila D'mello

(President)




Laximan Mangueshkar

(Secretary)



Copy to:


President,

Caranzalem Ramponkar & Traditional Fishermen Association,

H.No. 165, Near Rayan Gas Godown, Poder, Dando, Caranzalem, Tiswadi, Goa.

Friday 8 March 2024

Illegal mechanised fishing near Dona Paula Jetty

 08 March 2024


To,


Superitendent of Police

Coastal Security

Panaji, Goa



To,


Director of Fisheries,

Government of Goa

Panaji, Goa


To,


Captain of Ports,

Government of Goa,

Panaji, Goa


Subject: Illegal mechanised fishing in Zuari river near Dona Paula Jetty in violation of High Court directions dated January 09, 2024 in WP 2844 of 2023


Sir/ Madam,


Two incidents of mechanised fishing through use of purse seine nets are reported in Zuari river near Dona Paula Jetty on 07 March 2024. The first one at 4.00 am and the second one at 6.30 pm.


No police patrol boat nor patrol boat from Fisheries department intercepted the illegal fishing boats. This is serious lapse in enforcement mechanism and proves that instead of Police and Fisheries department mechanised fishing lobby is exercising their Writ in Zuari river to violate the law of the land that prohibits mechanised fishing within 05 kms from the coast.


We have brought the violation to the attention of Coastal Security Police via their mobile number 7875756073. However we are not updated by DYSP Coastal security if any action has been taken on the matter.


We will report this to the Hon'ble Bombay High Court.


Thanking you,


Yours sincerely,





Shaila D'mello

President, AGSSRFU




Laximan Mangueshkar 

Secretary, AGSSRFU



Copy to:


Chief Justice,

Goa Bench of Bombay High Court, Goa



Deputy Superitendent of Police

Coastal Security,

Ribandar, Goa

Thursday 7 March 2024

Water sports obstructions to fishing activities in Zuari

07 March 2024


To,


Minister of Tourism,

Government of Goa,

Porvorim, Goa



To,


Secretary (Tourism)

Government of Goa,

Porvorim,

Goa


To,


The Director,

Department of Tourism,

Paryatan Bhavan, 

Panaji, Goa


Subject: Water Sports obstructions to fishing activities in Zuari river river



Sir/Madam, 


This is to bring to your urgent attention obstructions faced by fishing communities due to water sports activities in Zuari river. Water sports activities permitted by Department of Tourism in the name of 'ease of doing business' bypassing Department of Fisheries as well as local Panchayat bodies has triggered disruption of fishing activities in Zuari river. Movement of water sports boats has invaded fishing spaces in Zuari river causing tearing of gillnets casted in the river as well as creating sound vibrations that chase away fish from the usual undisturbed Zuari river habitats.


In the above context we call upon your office the following:


1. Revoke all the ecistinf permissions granted to water sports activities in Zuari river waters with immidiate effect from Taleigao coast to Siridao coasts covering villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxim, Bambolim and Siridao.


2. Deny granting of any new permissions to water sports in Zuari river involving Territories mentioned at point no.1above.


We look forward to your co-operation and compliance to this letter to ensure smooth conduct of fishing activities by small scale fishing communities in Zuari river.


Thanking you.


Yours sincerely, 




Shaila D'mello

President, AGSSRFU




Laximan Mangueshkar

Secretary, AGSSRFU 


Copy to


1. Director of Fisheries, Government of Goa, Panaji, Goa


2. Superitendent of Police, Coastal Security, Panaji, Goa


3. Captain of Ports, Government of Goa, Panaji, Goa


4. Sarpanch, Village Panchayat, Siridao, Tiswadi, Goa


5. Sarpanch, Village Panchayat, Bambolim, Tiswadi, Goa


6. Sarpanch, Village Panchayat, Santa Cruz, Tiswadi, Goa


7. Sarpanch, Village Panchayat, Taleigao, Tiswadi, Goa