Bharat Mukti Morcha today took a decision to extend support to struggling fishermen in Zuari river against threats posed by tourism industry. In a meeting held in Panjim today Bharat Mukti Morcha noted the following:
Casual review of unfolding of events in Mandovi River over the past 10 months is critical to be taken note of in chronological form.
Ø November 2013 Bambolim based Hotel Grand Hyatt allows its premises for water Sports Company named Aqua Sail. Water sports boats found sailing in the waters of Zuari river.
Ø On 26th November 2013 fishermen complaint against this water sports activities harming fishing activities. These fishermen are traditional fishermen using canoes for fishing purpose in Zuari River.
Ø On 21st November 2013 fishermen petitioned against water sports to Captain of Ports, Director of Fisheries, Director of fisheries and concerned Panchayats of Zuari river coast from where affected traditional fishermen hail from.
Ø On 26th November 2013 No Objection Certificate (NOC) granted for water sports activities revoked by fisheries department.
Ø 10th December 2013 fishermen wrote detailed complaint to Goa Fisheries Minister Avartano Furtado objecting to the water sports activities in Zuari river at Bambolim – Nauxi-Siridao-Cacra-Odxel coast.
Ø 15th April 2014 NOC granted for water sports by Fisheries department.
Ø 19th April 2014 Water sports company files police complaint against fishermen of Bambolim in Agassain Police station. Police Inspector Devendra Gad visits Bambolim beach and confronts fishermen and slaps one fisherman Vishnu Kankonkar at 6 pm. Fishermen called to the police station. Matter is ‘compromised’ as Company withdraws complaint.
Ø 25th April 2014 20 water sports boats found obstructing traditional fishermen in Zuari River.
Ø 26th April 2014 traditional fishermen launched fresh investigation as to who issued permission to the water sports boats after their NOC being revoked on 26th November 2014.
Ø 02nd May 2014 Then Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado visited Bambolim Beach at 12.30 pm without prior intimation to fishermen. Around 50-60 fishermen voiced their grievances about water sports. He went inside hotel for unknown reasons.
Ø 09th May 2014 second letter of protest sent to Goa's Minister of Fisheries calling for immediate cancellation of No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued for speed boats to carry on water sports activities.
Ø From July 2014 prosecution of Sanjay Pereira, one of the leaders of the traditional fishermen begins. He has been accused of violating CRZ regulations and demolition of his house has been kept as a fear and de-motivator factor so that he stops speaking in defense of traditional fishermen. This is very alarming as the law CRZ that was formed to protect coast has been applied in order to silence dissent.