Thursday, 12 June 2014

L. F. Silveira's letter of 1981 on corruption in Agriculture department regarding Vanxim bunds

Here we reproduce letter written in 1981 by late L. F. Silveira to the agriculture department on the corruption while repairing of bunds defending Vanxim. Few things are clear from this letter. First, it is not just Archbishops Neri and Gonsalves that has played dirty by selling island but also Goa Government through its Agriculture department is directly involved in weakening defence bunds of Vanxim that regulated movement of salty water of Mandovi river and ensure cultivation of paddy in these reclaimed lands. Secondly, the breaches caused to the bunds were neglected by Tenants Association after L. F. Silveira passed away in the decade of 1990s and Narayan Bhonsle took over the leadership. He instead of protecting bunds and its paddy fields allowed further breaches and compromised with Bamon Mahendra Gaunekar with Philip D'mello of Vitogem, Divar as a broker. In this way Bhosle allowed paddy fields of Vanxim to get ruined. These paddy fields are today are sold by Archbishop Neri to Gaunekar (for Rs. 6/- per square meter) who in turns sold it to Ozone corporate for Rs. 35 crores. This letter is published as it is important historical document of bravery on the part of Tenants of Vanxim led by late L. F. Silveira. 

Chairman, Vanxim Tenants Association,
P.O. Piedade, Vanxim, Ilhas, Goa

9th September 1981

The Director,
Soil Conservation Division,
Directorate of Agriculture,
Panaji – Goa

Sub: Closure of breaches in the bund defending the paddy field “Vanxim” of Tiswadi Taluka.

Reference your letter dated 25th August 1981 about the first para, we the Committee Members, surprised to note that the Govt. spent over three lakhs of rupees to repair our bund in the year 1977-78.

There are several letters written to the Director in this connection how bad the work was carried on by the contractor and we also appealed not to pay him unless he hand over the bund after the completion of his work to the committee.

The contractor gave his work to another sub-contractor and ran away without giving his charge to the Committee and collected his money without fulfilling his conditions.
It is a mystery how he was paid, without handing over charge of his work to us inspite of our letters to the above office when there were 7 big breaches of bund in addition to the other big one for which we spent nearly Rs.80,000/- by way of material in the whole of Tiswadi Taluka. The estimate was made by Soil Conservation Officer in February 1977 with his Engineer Mr.Rajan by name but upto now we have not received a single N.P. from the Dept. concerned, which can be confirmed from your records.

Kindly investigate and inform the undersigned please.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

(L. F. Silveira)

Cc: To Minister of Agriculture, Panaji

Cc: to Mamlatdar, Panaji.

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