Thursday 6 June 2024

Open letter to Shankar Polji on mining and sand mining in Goa

06 June 2024

Dear Shankar Polgi,

We admired your videos all along held you in high esteem. Your videos always defended Goa's environment. And was so inspiring. However your recent video calling for resumption of sand mining and open cast mining in Goa left us bewildered. 

You must investigate how many people are deprived of their livelihoods due to mining in Goa for the past several decades when it went on. People were working in agriculture and horticulture were left unemployed. Their paddy fields destroyed.

In fact till today even though government has allowed mining to resume for Vedanta onground protests of villagers in Pilgao hasn't allowed single truck of ore to come out on road to load in Jetty. Go and meet the Sarpanch of Pilgao, the inspiring lady.

You know amount of damage mining has created to our Forest in Goa? Go and meet Rama Velip in Colomba.

You know how mining has contributed towards regular flooding of Bicholim and pollution of Bicholim River? Go and meet Ramesh Gauns  in Bicholim.

You know why villagers want their villages defended from predatory mining industry? Go and meet Ravindra Velip in Cavrem.

If you want know how mining has destroyed fertile agricultural land and displaced the village multiple times over the past half century then meet Hanuman Parab in Pissurlem.

If you want to know how how mining industry is threatening to destroy 223 houses in Mulgao and how mining has already destroyed village lakes and agriculture then meet Swapnesh Sherlekar.

If you want to know how to keep village permanently safe from mining onslaught and keep village economy thriving without mining then meet Ulhas Gaonkar from Morpirla.

If you want to know the murderous nature mining industry that launches physical attacks of those who speak out the truth then you must meet Nilesh Gaonkar from Cavrem.

If you want to know how Goa Government is looted by mining industry by corporate gangs then you must meet Captain Viriato Fernandes who is now elected MP South Goa and whom who supported in Rakhandar attire video during election campaigh last month.

If you want to know as to how revenue from mining is sought to be hijacked away from District Mineral Trust Fund of Goa Government then you must meet Wency Mendes.

If you want to learn to question non-implimentation of Justice Shah Commission  report of Goa mining that pointed out loot of Rs.35,000 crore then you must must meet me for sure.

If you want to know as to what provoked Goa Foundation to get into prolonged litigations leading to close down of mining and cancelation of mining leases in Goa then you must meet Dr. Claude Alvares.

If you want to know as to how entire village cashew economy was destroyed by mining industry and village water table disrupted then you must meet Shamsunder Naik of Advalpal village.

If you want to know the struggle as to how entire village paddy fields are deposited with silt layer of meter and half and all the 73 village wells went dry then you must meet Adv Dinanath Gaonkar of Sirigao. 

If you want to know how goons are used against those who dissent then go and meet Rajendra Kerkar at his village of Keri. He along with Prerna Singh Bindra was detain at Fomento Mines by company bouncers. Listen to his story as how he got freed then.

And regarding Sand mining please check marine effect of the trade, effect of fish, crabs to whom sandy riverbed is home and is disrupted by sand mining. Check the effects on river banks that can collapse and villages can get washed into the rivers.

You must also remember that both Sand mining as well as open cast iron ore and Manganese mining was stopped through Court directions. Goa Government in fact supported then all along with all the backing. Your point about corruption at Patradevi check post is well taken and must be true considering nature of system that is perennially corrupt.

I am sharing this for your considered attention with request to reflect on these aspects.

Warm regards,

Dr. S.A.Rodrigues

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