Monday 11 December 2017

Goa rivers declaration as National Waterways like Goa Liberation?

Its revolt to be fought for! Calling People of Goa to join!

Goa Liberation of 1961 and declaration of Goa's six rivers as National Waterways; do they have any similarity? Well really yes, according to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's response to Maggie Silveira, President of Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa Unit. They both are decisions are of Government of India, both taken without consulting people of Goa supposedly for the benefit of Goa. One taken by Congress government in 1961 and later by BJP government in 2016. Mr. Parrikar was speaking in a discussion after presentation of Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) for development of 6 Waterways of National Importance in Goa referred as "National Waterways" on December 11, 2017.

Invitation for this meeting was sent out by Captain of Ports Capt. James Braganza to many people. Surprisingly when people turned up to attend but they were prevented by police from attending so they staged demonstration outside Menezes Braganza Hall. 

After the Power Point Presentation by Secretary Fisheries Govind Jaiswal discussions were initiated on declaring rivers as National Waterways. However when the discussion were found to be getting Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in embarrassing situations as he ran short of answers meeting was stopped. 

Here we share point of debate between Maggie Silveira, President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa Unit  and Manohar Parrikar on declaration of Goa's rivers as National Waterways.

Maggie: Why did Indian Government passed National Waterways Act 2016 without taking people of Goa in confidence on March 26, 2016?

Parrikar: Government of India is not required to consult anyone before passing of laws. This law is passed in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha unanimously. No member from Goa in Parliament objected to this law. I was present in the Parliament. Also it is not required that Indian Government consult any State Government before passing of this law I was not Chief Minister that time. 

Maggie: Then what is the use of democracy? People have the right to voice out.

Parrikar: Passing of this law relating to Goa is like Liberation of Goa. These questions were raised that time in post 1961. I support the idea because we are going to get funds for dredging of rivers.

Maggie: What Ravi Naik, ex-CM of Goa said on ways of raising funds I appreciate, central government can give grants to Goa Government for this purpose. There are other ways of raising funds rather than surrender our rivers to Central government.

Parrikar: I will appoint you as Advisor to Government of Goa on raising of finance. Simply some body has set Goa's rivers on fire. No where in India people are objecting to declaration of their rivers as National Waterways.

Maggie: I am not interested to be on your advisory Board. I have much better things to do. We have to protect our rivers, Casinos have polluted river Mandovi.

Parrikar: Are there Casinos in River Sal, it is also polluted.

Maggie: What government was doing as the river Sal was getting polluted?

Parrikar: That is a separate question from today's' theme of National Waterways MoUs.

Maggie: Don't include the six rivers as National Waterways.

Parrikar: They are already included and I can do nothing about it.

Maggie: Then see that MoU is not signed by Goa Government's Captain of Ports. We protest declaration of Goa six rivers as National Waterways.

Parrikar: Okay, I have noted your views.

Manohar Parrikar said that MPT is not involved in signing the MoU but the draft he gave to Churchill Alemao has MPT in it. And also the invitation to this meeting says so. One again Parrikar tried to confuse people.

MoU Parrikar said in response to Olencio's question are not superior to the law namely Inland Waterways Authority of India Act 1985 and National Waterways Act 2016.

There are few other people who questioned Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on various counts. Savio Correia, Olencio Simoes, Churchill Alemao, Ravi Naik publicly.

Govind Jaiswal, who is also Secretary (Ports/ fisheries) informed that fishing rules of 1981 are more dangerous and restrictive to fishing than MoUs provisions. Manohar Parrikar repeated the same again.

Then suddenly Secretary Fisheries Govind Jaiswal declared meeting stopped without thanking anyone. Then people raised alarm to continue but Captain of Ports said that without government authority meeting cannot be continued. He perhaps forgot that he himself was an authority and had invited the people sending letters. 

The over all speaking was done by Manohar Parrikar. The Captain of Ports who technically knows every detail was not allowed to speak in spite of people's demand. The mike was taken away from Captain of Ports by Manohar Parrikar. 

People from all over Goa gathered outside the Menezes Braganza Hall as Our Rivers Our Rights (OROR) and protested against inclusion of Goa's six rivers as National Waterways. Tight police security was kept to protect the Chief Minister. We fail to understand as to why Chief Minister Parrikar is feeling so insecure in Goa that he needs such as heavy Police Bandobast for his protection, or is it to show off?

Goenchea Ramponkaracho Ekvott and Green Brigade were also present and participated inside Menezes Braganza Hall confronting Chief Minister on fate of Goa's rivers. 

Few key points that did not figure in the discussions:

1. Who are the people who convinced the government of India to include Goa's rivers as National Waterways. Its Goa mining industry and Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. See links here. Manohar Parrikar tried to full people by saying somethings distractive like passenger transport.

2. Mining industry and their barges are polluting Goa's rivers and deserve special attention of GSPCB. Minutes call for education of masses on these aspects. Check the minutes of first meeting of Goa State Pollution Control Board held on 05/10/1988. Click here.

3. Constitution of India makes it Fundamental duty of every citizen to protect rivers. Click here. Goa's rivers as National Waterways is an anti national action.

4. For more documents for study click here.

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