Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Press Release on Fr.Bismarque Dias murder, mobile tower radiation, trawler and water sports threats to fishing and more

I.      Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM) today observed two minutes silence in memory of Fr. Bismarque and those killed in terror attacks in Paris. BMM had a detail discussion on the shockingly torture and murder of late Fr. Bismarque Dias. BMM calls for immediate arrests and trial of those responsible for this murder. Goa Chief Minister must refrain from making irresponsible statements on Fr.Bismarque’s murder. If Chief Minister Parsekar feels incapable to admit the facts surrounding Fr. Bismarque’s murder then he must resign immediately. All Social Activists of Goa, Family members of Fr.Bismarque and People of Goa cannot be taken for granted anymore as Goans are known for what they are; as and when required they will act accordingly. As Chief Minister is holding the portfolio of Home Ministry, that doesn’t mean he can come out with statements as he is pleased with. Fr. Bismarque’s death is a murder, that too a tortured one. Manipulating the reports etc will not help. Truth will prevail that it is a murder. Long Live Fr. Bismarque’s good works for Vanxim, Tiracol, Carmona, Tuem and much more beyond. This murder has elevated Fr.Bismarque to the category of Martyr. Adeus Fr.Bismarque.

II.                    BMM calls for immediate cancellation of all the permissions for water sports activities in Zuari River granted by Captain of Ports to the officials of Hotel Grand Hyatt in Bambolim. This water sports activity in Zuari river has disrupted the fishing activities. Superintendent of Police, Coastal Security, Panjim in a letter dated 30.10.2015 to BMM has confirmed that it is the Captain of Ports that has granted the permissions for this. According to police report Captain of Ports, Government of Goa Panjim, has permitted officials of Hotel Grand Hyatt to carry on water sports activities within the area of Hyatt Bambolim Beach within 200 meters of shore to sea upto 01 Nautical Mile. This permission is not acceptable to the local Fishermen and BMM is opposed to this anti-fishing decision of the Captain of Ports and also as Hotel Grand Hyatt is fully illegal.

III.                   BMM welcomes decision of the Goa Police to increase the surveillance of Zuari River to curb illegal fishing activities as stated in this very letter. However Police letter does not mention the illegal fishing that is destructive ecology that is being carried on through trawling inspite of so many complaints from BMM.

IV.                  BMM also objects to the attempts of the Director of Fisheries Shamila Monteiro to pressurize fishermen objecting illegal trawling in Zuari River. It is well established fact that the sustained dragging of mobile gear (nets with all the weights, otterboards and chains) across the sea floor has been compared to the clear felling of tropical rainforest. These nets disturb the riverbed and alter its complexity, reduce benthic production and lead to substantial changes in benthic community structure and habitat. Moreover, these disturbed soft bottom habitats may never return to their earlier or ‘pristine’ state and often taken over by weedy species, similar to those that take over the clear felled patches in tropical rainforests.

V.                   The way Fisheries department is administrating its affairs is pathetic. Shamila Monteiro is not fit to direct this department as she told fisherman from Siridao Soccorro Braganza on 12th November 2015 in her cabin that she is ignorant of the laws that prohibit trawlers from carrying on fishing within 5 kms from the sea shore and inside the rivers. This means Director is not even aware of the reasons as to why her department has given licenses to so many trawlers to carry on fishing in Arabian Sea and not in any of the rivers of Goa, and what could be the ecological harmful impacts trawlers are inflicting on the marine ecology.

VI.                  BMM congratulates Betul, Naqueri, Quittol, and Canaguinim in Quepem taluka coast for their opposition to the Defence expo project on Naqueri plateau on November 08, 2015 Gram Sabha meeting. The project promoted by India’s defense minister Manohar Parrikar is nothing but the land grab of 6 lakh square meters, area including runway for aircrafts. BMM is aware of the intense struggle of the people of these villages to fight land grab for Golf Course in 1993-95 period against the then Government headed by late Dr.Wilfred de Souza. Then during 2006-2007 government forcefully took over this land for Food Park but actually to be developed for 800 villas and Golf Course by London based real estate group - Claremont. Due to the public protest this land grab too did not materialized. Now another land grab is attempted in the name of Defense Expo.

VII.                 BMM extends support and solidarity with people from Betul, Naqueri, Quittol, Canaguinim and neighboring villages’ people opposing this defense expo from Cabo-da-Rama, Nuem, Velim etc. Defense expo is located on this Naqueri plateau only to deprive land to the future generation of the local residents and to drive local people to the brink of desperation and landlessness. BMM protests with the Ministry of Defense, New Delhi as well as with Indian Air Force for imposing Defense expo on Goa.

VIII.               BMM is shocked to note inaction of Goa State Pollution Control Board and Bambolim Panchayat on the complaints against mobile towers in Bambolim and Nauxim villages at Adea de Goa premises. Mobile towers are threat to public health due to radiation threats. Even though people of Bambolim are subjected to radiation due to these mobile towers local Panchayat has chosen to hide under the excuse that these mobile towers has all permissions from Goa State Pollution Control Board. Officials at Pollution Control Board are not affected by radiation due to these mobile towers and it is not expected that they should be bothered about public health of Bambolim and surrounding villages. Other wise NOC cor mobile towers would have been revoked the moment objections to it are filed. There is state of administrative paralysis in the functioning of Goa State Pollution Control Board. It is limping due to influence of money bags and power of the rich. Bambolim Panchayat must not follow the example of Goa State Pollution Control Board and get itself infested in administrative paralysis.

IX.                  BMM also note with serious concern the way democratic process has been subverted and Panchayats and Municipalities has been bypassed in granting of NOC to the Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited to install Ground Based Masts (GBMs) to provide 4 G broadband services across Goa in Panchayat and Municipality areas in adjacent to National Highways. NOC for this has been granted by the office of the Superintending Engineer PWD, Panjim. BMM is also concerned that these GBMs are entrusted with the task of surveillance by installing CCTV cameras on Highways packaged as ‘facility for general public’.

X.                   BMM also condemns high handed attitude of Bambolim Talathi Prameya P. Prabhu Miringker displayed while on site inspection of traditional path ways and public cross by Hotel Grand Hyatt on 23.10.2015 in Bambolim. Mr. Miringker was carrying on site inspection based on complaint of Rohidas Andrade to the Tiwadi mamlatdar. Mr. Miringker told Rohidas Andrade that Hotel Grand Hyatt can do anything they want and no one can object. This statement is evidence that Talathi is biased in his mindset in favour of luxury hotel. BMM considers this as mockery of democracy.


Maggie Silveira,

President, Goa State Unit

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