Ilha de Vanxim Association appreciates written statements of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar with regard to State policy on river bank land, mangroves land and agricultural land. Goa Chief Minister in a written letter dated 16th April 2014 addressed to the then Indian Minister of Environment and Forest Dr.M.Veerappa Moily has made three decisive statements that are directly applicable to safety of Vanxim island. The three statements are as follows:
1. “The State is blessed with seven rivers and covers length of 253 kms. Approximately. The state is committed to conserve its natural heritage by regulating development around the rivers; and hence has subjected the areas around rivers under the Coastal Zone Regulation with No development Zone’s of 100 meters from the bank of the rivers on all sides; thereby imposing serious land use restriction.” Vanxim is located right in the middle of Mandovi river and if measured 100 meters from the banks of Mandovi river eliminates any chance of construction of Spa, Golf Course, five star hotel by Bamon Mahendra Gaunekar and his allies at ozone corporate. Ilha de Vanxim Association welcomes this decision of the Chief Minister. Such construction plans are being circulated in written form in Vanxim.
2. “The State’s Coastal areas are full of Mangroves and khazan land and development around mangroves and on khazan land is banned by the State Government as voluntary measure to protect the ecological heritage of the State and to maintain ecological balance in the State.” Vanxim too is full of mangroves. Gaunekar tried to cut some of the mangroves and for this he needs to be arrested, trial be conducted and imprisoned. Ilha de Vanxim Association welcomes this decision of the Goa government too.
3. “Also 40 % of the land is under agriculture which the government has decided not to be diverted.” Huge track of land of Vanxim island is under agriculture that is currently obstructed due to vested interests at agriculture department and people like Narayan Bhonsle of Tentant Association colluding with each other and with Mahendra Gaunekar for mutual destruction of agriculture of Vanxim island. Mahendra Gaunekar has filed nearly 70 court cases against the tenants and paid huge amount of cash to discourage them from holding on to their paddy fields and instead soliciting false negative declarations that they have never cultivated these paddy fields! Archbishop of Goa sold these paddy fields to Mahendra Gaunekar for Rs.6/- per square meter with huge cash in black. Perhaps this has been one of the most likely subjects of Archbishop’s below-the-radar discussion with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14th June 2014. Ilha de Vanxim Association supports this decision of the Chief minister and agricultural land in Vanxim too should not be diverted. Its survey number 8 too must not be diverted for settlement purpose as it is paddy field. Those responsible for lobbying and changing land use pattern of survey number 8 in regional plan must be immediately arrested, put on trial and imprisoned. Chief culprit here is Mahendra Gaunekar. Immediately State government must get its act together and with Tarun Tejpal arrest speed also put Mahendra Gaunekar behind the bars. Mahendra Gaunekar must also be tried and prosecuted for paying large amount of cash to tenants in order to lure them to abandon cultivation and repairs of bunds thereby causing flood of paddy fields. This is absolutely criminal and Mahendra Gaunekar must be immediately taken into custody. In this way agriculture in Vanxim must be revived and people educated and encouraged to cultivate paddy for this is what sustains life.
As Goa Chief Minister has put these points in the form of written letter this goes as legally valid and that needs to be honored by him and for his very integrity.
Ilha de Vanxim Association