Friday 17 April 2015

Fishing rights violations in Zuari river affecting villagers of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Dona Paula, Agassaim, Goa Velha etc due to water sports and proposed marinas

Date: 17th April 2015

The Collector (North)
Government of Goa,
Panjim, Goa.

Subject: Fishing rights violations in Zuari river affecting villagers of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Dona Paula, Agassaim, Goa Velha etc due to water sports and proposed marinas

Respected Madam,

As you are already aware of our letters to you dated 21stNovember 2014, 15th December 2014, 19th January 2015 and 27th February 2015 that fishing communities are facing threat from tourism related water sports activities Hotel Grand Hyatt and illegal fishing by trawlers in Zuari river.

We have been informed by Director of Fisheries Sharmila Monteiro that your office/ Deputy collector’s office is involved in granting of permission for February 22, 2015 and March 22, 2015 water sports activities in the form of a race called triathlon.  Secretary (Fisheries) Mr.Amjad Tak, IAS has recommended us to get in touch with you in this regard and seek remedy for our problems.

On both these days there was complete disturbance of fishing activities as motored boats dominated the river. On February 22, 2015 there were 25 water sports boats in river that disrupted fishing activities. On March 22, 2015 four double motored boats were in the river in addition to two single motored ones. So all together there were six of them.

This is the first reason we are petitioning to you to investigate and direct the Deputy Collector not to issue any such permission to organize any such activities in future including on April 22, 2015. If any permission is already granted then it be reverted immediately.

The second reason is to express our complete opposition to the Marmagoa Port Trust (MPT) proposed and Goa Cabinet endorsed two Marinas in Zuari river to cater to the high end tourists. One of them is in Bambolim and second one in Sancoale. The villagers engaged in fishing activities in Tiswadi taluka are directly affected specially from the villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Agassaim, Goa Velha, and Dona Paula. The decision of MPT to construct Marinas earlier in Nauxi was opposed on 05 December 2010 and the links to Times of India report is here for your ready reference:

Villagers successfully opposed this ill-conceived project of the MPT and now after four years and four months is sought to implement the same project all over again, this time in Bambolim.

Curca-Telaulim-Bambolim Panchayat in fact passed Gram Sabha resolution against proposed marina on January 30, 2011 on grounds that it would adversely affect the traditional fishing activities of the villagers. The villagers also argued that the waterfront would spell ecological disaster to the village as it require dredging of the river and construction on the waterfront both of which would affect the flow of water. You may access links online of the report published in Times of India:

Why should serving high end tourists in the form of marinas be dead end to local fisher people on the banks of Zuari river? This is important to answer. Our understanding is that this decision is declaration of war against indigenous people as first our land was taken over for Goa University, International Centre, Aldeia de Goa, Grand Hyatt, and now our river too is being taken away without our consent. Truly arrogant plus dictatorial way of functioning intended towards complete destruction of livelihood based on fishing threatening food security.

Kindly convey our views of firm opposition to both the marinas in Zuari river to the concerned Goa State Government authorities as well as Marmagoa Port Trust and Union Ministry of Shipping as pleasure of high end tourists cannot be allowed to take priority over our livelihood through fishing.

Awaiting your early and prompt action,

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely

Maggie Silveira
President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa State

Rohidas Andrade
Convenor, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Bambolim Unit

Milind Palkar
Convenor, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Nauxi Unit

Sitaram Pereira
Convenor, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Odxel Unit

Sanjay Pereira
Convenor, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Cacra Unit

Jerone D’Souza
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridona Unit

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