Monday, 14 December 2015

GCZMA collaboration in Pontoon fraud in river Mandovi

Date: 09th December 2015

1.
To,
The Principal Secretary (Environment) & Chairman (GCZMA),
Government of Goa,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa
2.
To,
The Collector (North Goa)
Panjim, Goa

3.
To,
The Member-Secretary,
Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA),
Panjim, Goa

4.
To,

The Superintendent of Police,
Crime Branch, Ribandar, Goa
5.
To,
The Deputy Collector & S.D.O (Tiswadi)
Panaji, Goa
6.
To,
The Secretary & Commissioner (Ports)
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa. 
7.
To,
The Captain of Ports,
Panjim, Goa
8.
To,
The Director General of Police,
Panjim, Goa

Subject:  GCZMA  collaboration in Pontoon fraud in river Mandovi

Dear Madam / Sir,
We had filed our objections dated 15th May 2015 and 19th June 2015 to the permissions granted to M/s Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd to construct floating pontoon in Mandovi by Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) as well as Captain of Ports Department based on minutes of 113th meeting of GCZMA held on 26th February 2015.
Based on our complaint dated 19th June 2015 Goa Costal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) carried has filed reply to us declining to proceed ahead with our complaint. The reply dated 24th November 2015 signed by Srinet N. Kothwale states that Technical officer of GCZMA carried on site inspection of the site at Panelim, Tiswadi and found that there is no construction of Pontoon Jetty was in progress on the day of the inspection carried on 19th October 2015. The site inspection report also notes that construction of jetty has permission from GCZMA with reference no. GCZMA/TIS/PANE/11-12/07/2184.
We are thankful for the reply given to us. We are also thankful for the site inspection carried on and report submitted by technical officer Mr. Fletcher Fernandes. However we wish to place on record three things:
Firstly, in our complaint we did not allege any construction of the Pontoon Jetty at Panelim, Tiswadi. So the site inspection report of Fletcher Fernandes stating that “No ongoing work was found during the time of site inspection” does not change the status of our complaint as we have never claimed that there is construction of Jetty.
Secondly, our complaint of the fraud pertains very specifically to the processes that are followed in granting permission for the construction of the Jetty by Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) with reference no. GCZMA/TIS/PANE/11-12/07/2184. Hence the status of our complaint remains unchanged even though GCZMA has refused to proceed ahead with the complaint. By this GCZMA has turned its status into active collaborator of the fraud.
Thirdly, Srinet N. Kothwale, Member-Secretary (GCZMA) has not refuted a single statement of our complaint on the fraud in procedures followed to arrive at the granting of permissions to construction of Pontoon Jetty at Panelim, Tiswadi to M/s Ozone Leisure & Resort Pvt. Ltd.
The way this complaint has been handled raises serious suspicions on the way GCZMA is functioning. The nature of the fraud is visible as it has unfolded and can be best described through a well known Latin Maxim “Res Ispa Loquitor” which means the crime committed is so evident that it is visible to everyone. We are not how it not visible only to the member-secretary, GCZMA. It is a matter of serious concern that GCZMA has stooped to down fraud state of functioning for reasons unknown to us but it seems insane of functioning.
Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for detail EIA report as well as Public Hearing on this and approvals granted to Pontoon Jetty construction by GCZMA as well as Captain of Ports must be revoked with immediate effect as it is nothing more than fraud.
We repeat the text of our complaint dated 19/06/2015 to you yet again with suggestion to proceed with action on the points raised even though there is no on ground construction of Jetty at Panelim, Tiswadi.
Now we wish to bring to your notice the following discrepancies in the process of granting of these permissions:
1.      On behalf of Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd on 27th April 2011 Yulette C. Coutinho, manager-legal made a letter to Captain of Ports, Panjim asking for the repairs of an existing Jetty under Survey No. 2/5 at Panelim, Old Goa. Ms Coutinho has put in writing that she was not aware as to when Captain of Ports had issued license to construct the same and Captain of Ports was requested to search for Jetty Registers in the names of Nirmitee Holdays Pvt Ltd., Aishwarya Resorts Pvt. Ltd. and P & P. Hotels Pvt. Ltd. On behalf of Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd Ms Coutinho, the Authorised signatory expressed the desire to continue to use and operate the existing Jetty. Captain of Ports did not reply to this letter nor Expert member of GCZMA Dr.Antonio Mascarenhas noted existence of such a Jetty in his site inspection report carried out on 10/10/2014.
2.      Nine month and ten days later on February 6th 2012 Bruno Ferrao, Manager- Administration, Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd again made another application to the Member-Secretary, GCZMA seeking permission for putting up Floating Pontoon in river Mandovi adjacent to plot bearing survey no. 2/5 (Part) situated at Panelim, Old Goa. In this letter again Mr. Ferrao claims that “the said pot had an existing jetty which is presently in a dilapidated condition and hence we intend to put a temporary Floating Pontoon at its place.” Again it must be noted that an Expert member of GCZMA Dr.Antonio Mascarenhas in his report of site inspection on 10/10/2014 neither records existence of any pot nor an existing Jetty in dilapidated conditions at plot bearing survey no. 2/5 at Panelim. In this letter Bruno Ferrao also gave reference to likely siltation and damage to surrounding “The Floating Pontoon will be a temporary structure and will not cause any siltation or damage to the surroundings.” On what basis has Bruno Ferrao claimed that pontoon will not cause siltation or damage the surroundings? What study has he conducted on behalf of Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd to put up such claims in writing? If Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd has carried out the studies to this effect then why were they not disclosed? Now it looks Bruno has made such claims without any basis and hence this application of 6/2/2012 is a fraud and all the approvals granted by GCZMA are fraud too. This fraud is confirmed from the Expert Member of GCZMA Dr. Antonio Mascarenhas’ observations recorded in the 113th meeting of the GCZMA held on 26th February 2015 (case no. 7.5, page 32) as “Any structure within river is bound to cause upstream and / or downstream erosion and / or accretion.”
3.      It is hence truthful that there is no existing Jetty in dilapidated condition as claimed by Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd as this fact has not been confirmed by Captain of Ports nor by member-secretary GCZMA. This is completely fraud.
4.      Based on this fraud correspondence Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd Vice-President – Business Development Gajanan Karkare on 21st February 2013 wrote to The Principal Secretary (Environment), Government of Goa who is also the Chairman, GCZMA to consider the application of Bruno Ferrao on behalf of the company -and cited above – to provide Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd the permission / NOC for the proposed construction of the floating Pontoon Jetty in river Mandovi adjacent to Plot No.2/5 at Panelim, Old Goa.
5.      On 20th June 2014 the above mentioned Gajanan Karkare, Vice-President – Business Development, Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd again wrote to Member-Secretary, GCZMA asking for permission / NOC for the proposed construction of the floating Pontoon jetty in river Mandovi adjacent to Plot survey No.2/5 at Panelim, Old Goa with application dated 6/2/2012 of Bruno Ferrao as the basis.
6.      The effect of this process of fraud Dr.Antonio Mascarenhas, and Expert Member of GCZMA in his inspection report of 10/10/2014 noted that “Such activities need an EIA from competent authorities as stipulated in the CRZ 2001 rules.” This expert observation has been sidetracked and approvals granted by GCZMA as recorded in minutes of its 113th meeting held on 26/02/2015. As we have already mentioned in our last letter we re-assert that this is fraud that will lead to very serious consequences including call for high level investigations.
7.      Bharat Mukti Morcha therefore calls Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to revoke its approval for floating Pontoon jetty in the area adjacent to plot bearing Survey no.2/5 Panelim village, Old-Goa, Tiswadi Taluka dated 04/03/2015 granted from CRZ point of view vide letter GCZMA/TIS/PANE/11-12/07/2184 granted to Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd.
8.      Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Captain of Ports to revoke the NOC dated 29/01/2013 granted for Construction of floating Pontoon jetty in river Mandovi adjacent to Plot survey No.2/5 at Panelim, Old Goa vide letter No.I-11017/Floating Pontoon/Panalim/476 to Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd.
9.    Bharat Mukti Morcha considers this approval to M/s Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt. Ltd to construct 18 meters long and 10 meters deep floating Pontoon Jetty in Old Goa as fraud as the observation of Expert Member Antonio Mascarenhas to carry on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under CRZ 2011 rules before construction has been over looked and the transcripts of the “detailed discussion and due deliberations” held during the meeting are not recorded in the minutes of the 113th meeting of GCZMA.
10. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for detail EIA report as well as Public Hearing on this and approvals granted to Pontoon Jetty construction by GCZMA as well as Captain of Ports must be revoked with immediate effect as it is nothing more than fraud.

Anticipating your quick action,
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,



Maggie Silveira
President, Goa Unit

Sanjay Harmalkar
Convener, Diwar Unit

Aaron D’mello,Convener,
Ribandar Unit

Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim Unit


Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra Unit


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