Friday 28 November 2014

Stop violating Goa coastal peoples rights

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns continues violations of fishing rights in Zuari river. Over the past one year there are intensified violations of fishing rights. The target group of these violations are the fishermen on the banks of river Zuari especially the villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim and Siridao.

The violations are from three sources. Firstly the water sports activities inside the Zuari River. The water sports including speed boats have to stop, operations in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Chief Minister to act decisively and stop Hotel Grand Hyatt from operating the water sports/speed boats by revoking all the permissions granted through Fisheries department.

The second target of fishing violations of fishermen’s right has been from trawlers. In spite of legal ban on trawlers they continue to fish in Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Goa government to enforce the ban on trawlers to take immediate measures to enforce ban.

The third target of fishing rights violations are in the form mini purse seine fishing inside the river there by taking away en mass fish from Zuari River. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon Fisheries department to stop this. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon the Goa government to station permanent petrol boat inside the Zuari River to monitor activities of fishing rights violators namely trawlers, mini purse seiners, and cancel water sports permissions granted to Hotel Grand Hyatt.Bharat Mukti Morcha also notes that these fishermen have already been dispossessed of their cultivation lands by installing projects and various other real estate projects such as Aldeia de Goa, Hotel Grand Hyatt etc, and now their fishing rights are trampled upon in Zuari River.

For their daily livelihood they have to struggle to feed themselves and families whereby even the land where they used to cultivate is taken away for huge projects and lastly even spiritually they are not allowed to carry on the traditional litany at the Chapel and daily lighting of candles at the Cross as both have been included inside the compound wall of Hotel Grand Hyatt. This access to Chapel and the Cross on Bambolim beach must be opened to public for worship without any hindrances. The Chapel and the Cross is not constructed by hotel but it is a symbol of culture of freedom and faith sowed in Goa by St. Francis Xavier in 16th Century. This very faith we can see come alive as thousands of people every day flock to venerate sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier. The religious sentiments associated here are being hurt to the very core of the local people’s heart. Ancestors have kept such a high religious values installed in people that it is very difficult for anyone to interfere with people of such strong faith. In such a situation Hotel Grand Hyatt has nothing to look behind but only to give back to the local people what is the heritage of their ancestors, i.e. open up access to the Chapel and the Cross.


1.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must stop water sports in Zuari river. Fisheries department must revoke permissions granted.
2.   Mini purse seine fishing in Zuari must stop.
3.   Trawlers fishing illegally in Zuari river must be stopped.
4.   Permanent patrol ship must be installed in Zuari river to protect interest of the traditional fishermen of Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Odxel and Cacra.
5.   Hotel Grand Hyatt must open access to the Chapel and also to the Cross, both currently included within compound wall of the Hotel.
Maggie Silveira

President (Goa State)

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