Friday, 22 December 2017

Serious Objections to signing any MoU between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and MPT on 6 rivers in Goa


Date: 16th December 2017
To,

The Captain of Ports,
Government of Goa,
Panjim, Goa

Subject: Serious Objections to signing any Memorandum of Understanding between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) on development of 6 rivers in Goa declared fraudulently as National Waterways.

Sir,

Thank you for inviting Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM), Goa State for the Presentation on above subject held at Institute Menezes Braganza, Main Hall, Panjim on 11th December 2017. Our President Maggie Silveira participated and many of us were prevented from entering the venue by tight police security. We lodge our protest for the preventing participation of our several office bearers.
As you are well aware Bharat Mukti Morcha has already filed objections to your office on the above mentioned subject. However after our President Maggie Silveira participated in presentation we wish to re-iterate our objections with additional reasons as under:

1.      Threats to Fishing: We have studied the draft of MoU given to Mr. Churchill Alemao, Benaulim MLA by Manohar Parrikar, CM of Goa publicly at the above mentioned venue of MoU Presentation on above subject and believe that it is designed to the detriment of fishing activities in all the six rivers in Goa. We observed that even Inland Waterways has such provisions hostile to fishing as its Article 3 (XI) of draft MoU that states “Ensure unrestricted development and utilization of National Waterways by regulating the existing fishing activities carried through stake net fishing, barrier net, River gill, river cages and fishing by any registered gear. Views of local fishermen area shall however be taken into consideration before finalization of a site for development by COP and IWAI”. We are not satisfied with explanation of Govind Jaiswal, IAS who stated that Fishing rules of 1981 are much more dangerous to fishing activities than this article. BMM call upon Fisheries Minister Vinoda Paliencar as well as to move amendment to 1981 fisheries rules and make rivers of Goa safe for fishing activities by deleting provisions hostile to fishing with help of Govind Jaiswal, IAS who is Secretary Fisheries and Ports. We object Goa fishing rules of 1981 to be used to justify this draconian provision. In addition, Fishing cannot be localized as even though fishermen are locals, fish in rivers is not as rivers are connected to Arabian Sea, and so are the consumers of fish are beyond locality. We object to the plans to sign this MoU.

2.        Subversion of Democracy: National Waterways Act 2016 was passed unanimously in the Indian Parliament in March 2016 without consulting people of Goa. Goa’s MPs kept silent in Parliament according to eye witness account given by Goa CM Manohar Parrikar who was present in the Parliament in his capacity as India’s Defence Minister. The representative democracy has proved to be the colossal failure the way things have turned out on Goa’s six rivers declared as National Waterways as Political Parties are outside RTI jurisdictions and we do not know which vested interests funded ruling and opposition parties to pass this law unanimously without consulting people of Goa. BMM again objects to the inclusion of Goa’s rivers in the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016. BMM rejects Goa CM’s comments that he can do nothing about it to reverse the situation. Here are things that BMM advises CM Manohar Parrikar to do immediately:

a.      Write to the Prime Minister of India to delete Goa’s six rivers from the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.
b.      Write to Goa MPs in Parliament as all three of them belong to CM’s Political Party BJP to do all that is necessary to get Goa’s rivers deleted from the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.
c.       Pass legislation in Goa Legislative Assembly to exclude Goa’s six rivers form Schedule of the National Waterways Act 2016.

3.      Land Grab:  With all the Goa’s precious land adjacent to six rivers going to the Indian Shipping Ministry that control Inland Waterways Authority of India has automatically is under jurisdiction of Union Government besides declared portions of six rivers themselves.

4.      “Like Goa’s Liberation”: This is a statement Manohar Parrikar made to describe the situation Goa after inclusion of six rivers as National Waterways in 2016. BMM notes that Goa Liberation and India’s military action in Goa on December 17, 2017 was against European county of Portugal. Indian Government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru believed that Goa could be liberated from Portugal by such action. How does comparison fits here? From whom does Indian Government liberated Goa through National Waterways Act 2016? From Fishermen? From dwellers on coast banks of rivers? BMM want an answer from you on these questions.

5.      Liberation as Tragedy: What Goa CM has referred as Goa Liberation has in fact been great trigger to loose control over land in various insidious ways. Here we share a link to you on how people living in plains and mountains, Goa’s Scheduled Tribe People were cheated of their land and their liberation is yet to begin as bondage is a reality: http://theothermedia.in/downloadables/SAIP_Reports/SAIP_Mining_Series_1_Goa.pdf. And now in liberated Goa our rivers have been arbitrarily without any consultation has been transferred for control by Indian Shipping Ministry. This is completely ridiculous and we totally oppose inclusion of Goa’s six rivers in the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.

6.      Liberation or Invasion of Goa? This is question is not settled as yet. What Manohar Parrikar called Liberation of Goa is referred to as Goa Invasion by UN Security council in its 988th meeting held on 18th December 1961 in New York from 8.45 pm onwards. Here is online link for your reference: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/PV.988. According to Goa CM National Waterways Act 2016 is like this event then this could also be termed as Goa’s second invasion.

7.      Goa Rivers fiasco is due to political failure of Indian representative democracry – the Legislature. It has to be corrected by Legislative Action. It cannot have administrative solution. Hence Secretary - Ports, Govind Jaiswal, IAS who did power point presentation at December 11, 2017 meeting under reference has no role in solving this issue.

8.      Responsibility of Captain of Ports: Major responsibility to get Goa’s rivers out of Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016 is of Captain of Ports. From the records posted at website of Inland Waterways Authority of India it is clear evidence that Government of India consulted Captain of Ports along with Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Goa Barge Owners Association as early as January 21, 2010 and reported in press next day. Here is the link for your reference: http://iwai.nic.in/showfile.php?lid=145. Now it is your office duty to convey the message of vast protesting people of Goa on opposition in Goa to the Indian Shipping Ministry.

9.      After mining tragedy we commit river tragedy? There is already huge environmental damage mining has inflicted on Goa. Mining silt has washed into
Goa’s rivers in such a large quantity that few islands have been formed and forest department has planted trees on them especially in Mandovi river. There are studies by scientists explaining in detail as o how mining has damaged Goa and also its various river tributaries. Its clear from the fact that IWAI has approached National Appraisal Committee as recorded in minutes of October 25-26, 2016 on behalf of 228 barges to carry on dredging of Mandovi. Here are the extracts of minutes for your reference:
http://bharatmukti.blogspot.in/2017/08/228-mining-barges-behind-tormenting-of.html.  So here we are in a situation where mining has ruined its land – plains and forests, paddy fields and water bodies, and now out on full fledged prowl to swallow Goa’s rivers. Enough is enough!

10.  Mining as a major polluting industry of Goa and find recorded in the first meeting of Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSCPB) on October 05, 1988. Role of mining barges in polluting Goa’s inland waterways too is very well noted. In fact minutes calls for education of the masses on the aspect of prevention of pollution. Here is online link to these minutes for your reference http://goaspcb.gov.in/Media/Default/Minutes%20of%20Board%20Meeting/1minutes.pdf.

11.  Mining has been historical enemy of Goa and continues to be so till date. Mining enmity is not restricted to assault on Goa’s ecology from its inception in early 1940 but extends in political sphere too. T.B.Cunha, the Father of Goan Nationalism in his article in Journal titled “Free Goa” wrote on July 25th 1958 as to how mining companies has been supporting Portugal Colonial rule to thrive in Goa. Here is his complete article online links: http://mandgoa.blogspot.in/2008/04/t-b-cunha-on-mining-trade-in-goa.html.

12.  Colonial mode of development: Wanagunui river too was used as “Highway” by white colonizers against the wishes of the indigenous people of that region – Maoris. They fought for nearly 140 years and this year 2017 March Crown acknowledged and apologized for the destruction caused in New Zealand through the Parliamentary legislation. Here is reference for your reference: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2017/0007/latest/096be8ed81520106.pdf. Do you want people of Goa to fight similarly and that long period of time? One needs to be really sadist to desire so. If that is the intention of Government of India, Government of Goa to please mining companies, Shipping companies and other vested interests then we will be left with no option but to fight like Maoris did in New Zealand over Whanganui River.

13.  Delay in decision to reverse the decision of Indian Government could lead to unpredictable consequences. People of Goa no longer want to be at the mercy of mining companies, coal companies, casino companies and Indian Shipping Ministry dictated terms to Goa’s rivers and people. Your office will be held responsible for ensuring consequences as your office negotiated with Indian Shipping Ministry to get them in Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.

Kindly share this letter with all the MLAs, Ministers, Chief Minister and others that you invited for the December 11, 2017 presentation at Menezes Braganza Hall, Panjim as well as members of public protesting outside the Hall for denying entry inside for PPT Presentation on above subject. Also share this letter with Indian Shipping Ministry and IWAI along with MPT, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Goa Barge Owners Association. Make sure that you do not sign any MoU on Goa’s six rivers.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,



Maggie Silveira,
President, Goa State



Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra unit



Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim unit



Socorro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit



Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Curca Unit



Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Odxel Unit



Milind Palkar
Convener, Nauxi unit



Ms. Kalpana Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Siridao Unit



Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Honu Divkar,
Co-convener, Odxel Unit



Deu Kankonkar
Secretary, Nauxi Unit



Yeshwant Shirvoikar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit



Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener, Odxel unit



Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit



Francis Coelho,
Co-convener, Nauxim Unit



Ms. Jaya Kuttikar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Jonu Shirvoikar,
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Uttam Martins
Co-convenor, Cacra unit



Rohit Hadkonkar,
Co-convenor,  Bambolim unit


Sanju Diukar,
Co-convenor, Odxel unit



Chandranath Rosario,
Co-convenor, Cacra unit



Vijay Sawant,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit



Ragunath Sautodkar,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit



Ms. Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener, Cacra Unit



 Ashok Kukalkar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Ganashyam Diukar

Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Mahadev Andre Rosario
Co-convenor, Nauxim Unit

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