Thursday, 4 May 2017

Shocking disappearance of Zuari coast fishermen from WAPCOS EIA to MPT

Date: 28th April 2017
Member Secretary,
Goa State Pollution Control Board,
Panjim, Goa

Subject: Objections to EIA on redevelopment of berth 8, 9 and Barge berth at MPT

This is to bring to your notice that above mentioned Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) has totally ignored existence of fishing villages and fish landing stations on the Zuari river bank. Villages such as Madkai, Aggasaim, Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra, Odxel, Dona Paula and Caranzalem are totally missing in EIA even though they are located within 10 kms radius from MPT site of proposed re-development of berth 8, 9 and Barge berth.

Sir, we have an apprehension that this has been deliberately done by WAPCOS at the instance of MPT.  We strongly oppose the omission fishing villagers and fishermen from the above mentioned EIA. This is a great fraud on the part of MPT and the Government of India on Goa.

We also protest hiding of the key information of this project in the above cited EIA that all this has been done for the benefit of Vedanta owned Goa Sea Port Pvt Ltd. Vedanta Barges are already clashing with fishermen in Zuari and Mandovi, and Goa Fisheries department has served warning letters to several organizations of Fishermen all over Goa at the instance of Vedanta.

This project we apprehend will create a situation where in fishing in Goa’s rivers would be impossible. This situation is very grave considering that simultaneously Government of India has gone ahead and declared six rivers of Goa as National Highways.

Barges and existing shipyards along Goa’s rivers and particularly in Zuari river has already caused extensive damage. We here re-produce an extract from an exclusive interview of past Chairman of MPT Cyril George to Goa based newspaper named Herald on 17/06/2015:

People should also understand that there are so many shipyards not following environmental laws, besides there are barges along the Zuari river bay and each of these barges has created health hazards, environmental hazards besides pollution. These aspects are ignored.

Sir, When the Chairman of MPT itself speaks out the truth of barge transportation in public domain, how can MoEF grant them Environmental Clearance? Further we want to state that the Zuari river bay is within the Jurisdiction of MPT from May 24, 2000 and Chairman Cyril George’s above findings does not figure at all in above draft EIA. EIA does not share any light as to what measures MPT has taken to stop health hazards, environmental hazards and pollution caused by barges from the time its Chairman Cyril George spoke about it in public on 17/06/2015. Central Government issued gazette notification issued by Ministry of Surface Transport (Department of Shipping), (Port Wing) on May 24, 2000 declaring MPT jurisdiction over Zuari river and its coast covering Cacra, Nauxim, Bambolim, Odxel, Dona Paula, Siridao, Sancoale and Cortalim Coast signed by:
“On the East – All the waters of River Zuari, West of Agassaim – Cortalim Ferry (Excluding the ferry and the landing stages)”.
The Gazette of India (Extraordinary), Part II – Section 3 – sub – section (i) signed by K.V.Rao, Jt.Secy
Due to the above glaring fallacies in the EIA itself, EC must be rejected by MoEF. However in case EC is granted by MoEF then it will be further confirmation of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement carried widely in various newspapers by PTI on 06/09/2012 that MoEF is a corrupt Ministry and grants EC clearances based on collection of bribes from corporate and turns blind eye to rampant illegalities in Goa.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,
Maggie Silveira

Goa Unit

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