Wednesday 29 April 2015

Threat of displacement and disruption of fishing activites to the people living on coast at Baina, Khariwada, Desterro etc near Vasco due to aggression perpetuated by MPT plans of expansion

Date: 28th April 2015

The Chairman
Mormugao Port Trust (MPT),
Headland Sada, Mormugao, Goa

The Commissioner & Secretary (Ports)
Government of Goa,
Chamber No. 203
3rd Floor, Secretariat,
Porvorim, Goa.

1. Fishing rights violations in Zuari river affecting villagers of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Dona Paula, Agassaim, Goa Velha, Cortalim, Sancoale etc due to MPT proposed marinas

2. Threat of displacement and disruption of fishing activites to the people living on coast at Baina, Khariwada, Desterro etc near Vasco due to aggression perpetuated by MPT plans of expansion


At the first instance we write to you to express our complete opposition to the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) proposed two Marinas in Zuari river to cater to the high end tourists. One of them is in Bambolim and second one in Sancoale as per declaration of Acting Chairman and Deputy Chairman of MPT Mr.Cyril George to press on April 8, 2015 in Panjim. The villagers engaged in fishing activities in Tiswadi taluka are directly affected specially from the villages of Odxel, Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Agassaim, Goa Velha, and Dona Paula are affected in North Goa while Sancoale, Cortalim, etc villages are affected in South Goa. The decision of MPT to construct Marinas earlier in Nauxi was opposed on 05 December 2010 and the links to Times of India report is here for your ready reference:

Villagers successfully opposed this ill-conceived project of the MPT and now after four years and four months is sought to implement the same project all over again, this time in Bambolim and additional one at Sancoale.

Curca-Telaulim-Bambolim Panchayat in fact passed Gram Sabha resolution against proposed marina on January 30, 2011 on grounds that it would adversely affect the traditional fishing activities of the villagers. The villagers also argued that the waterfront would spell ecological disaster to the village as it require dredging of the river and construction on the waterfront both of which would affect the flow of water. You may access links online of the report published in Times of India:

The village Panchayat of Curca-Telaulim-Bambolim-Nauxim Gram Sabha on 19th April 2015 has already expressed its unanimous opposition to the proposed Marinas in Zuari river. Why should serving high end tourists in the form of marinas spell dead end to local fisher people on the banks of Zuari river? This is important to answer. 

Our understanding is that this decision is declaration of war against indigenous people as first land was taken over for Goa University, International Centre, Aldeia de Goa, Grand Hyatt, and now Zuari river too is being taken away without our consent. Truly arrogant plus dictatorial way of functioning intended towards complete destruction of livelihood based on fishing threatening food security. Aldeia de Goa and Grand Hyatt are starred hotels serving tourists and are illegitimately occupying land of local tribal people’s homeland. This is nature of aggression perpetuated on indigenous people of Goa in the name of tourism on land. And now this aggression on indigenous people including ST. OBC people has been extended into Zuari river. We have not forgotten MPT aggression on Cacra village in 1997 when it permitted Timblos to construct Offshore Stockyard and Berth (OSB) that was opposed successfully by the villagers.

Kindly convey our views of firm opposition to your seniors at the Union Ministry of Shipping as pleasure of high end tourists cannot be allowed to take priority and push fishing communities into dead end.

At the Second instance we write to you to express our solidarity with the people residing at Baina, Khariwada and Desterro near Vasco. These people are living on coast and we have learnt that MPT expansion plans are all set to prompt their eviction from the coast. Further we have also learned from the reports in the press viz Navhind Times dated 13th April 2015 that large number of fisher people are staying on the beach side for many generations and MPT’s plans for expansion is directly putting their fishing activities in jeopardy. Here is an online link for your reference: 

We are aware that Old Cross Fishing Canoe Owners Co-operative Society has already served memorandum dated 15th April 2015 to your office on 17th April 2015 over the subject matter of fishing activities at Khariwada. The copy of this document has been made available to Bharat Mukti Morcha. The issue was discussed at the meeting of Bharat Mukti Morcha with fishermen’s organisations on 21st April 2015 and decided to extend full support and solidarity to their struggle. After studying the issue we realized that these coastal dwellers are being sort to absorb into exploitative structures of bondage and slavery due to expansion plans of MPT into their dwelling and fishing spaces and we object totally to MPT plans.
These traditional fishermen known as “Ramponkars” were carrying on the activities of fishing over the coastal belt of Kharewada up to coast of El-Monte. Due to expansion of MPT reaching upto Berth No.11 lots of fishing spaces are drastically reduced.  And the current expansion plans will lead to displacement of fishers as well as non-fisher people staying on the coast. Interests of MPT are directly clashing with interests of fishing communities’ needs of dwelling, livelihood and life with dignity.
Similar fate also awaits residents of Baina beach. From the discussions with fishermen it was revealed that the expansion plans of MPT encompasses entire Baina bay. The document published on Union Ministry of Shipping website titled “Perspective Plans for Major Ports” on page 18 lists out Baina Bay and Vasco Bay development as opportunity for MPT in scheme of SWOT analysis carried on by MPT consultants M/s Halcrow Consulting & Ernst Young. It’s clear from this document that what fishermen on both these shore are expressing is well grounded in reality. There is no scope for either Goans or non-Goans to survive as evictions will be of all and debate fermented by Goa CM Parsekar and Karnataka Minister Deshpande on 8th April 2015 and reported next day in Tarun Bharat has no basis. We oppose eviction of both Goans and non-Goans, legal and illegal as both are mulnivasis of India and interpretation and implementation of law in Goa is bended favoring rich entities like Hotel Cidade de Goa and Grand Hyatt to give two examples..
Fisher and other people are living on the coast of both Baina Bay as well as Vasco Bay far before MPT was established in 1885 and CRZ law enacted in 1980s and MPT has no right to displace them at its whims and fancies even if some have settled there later. Bharat Mukti Morcha is aware that MPT tried unsuccessfully to get rid of coastal people few years ago through litigations but failed. Due to this Vasco Municipality was roped in to file cases of CRZ violations on coastal dwellers so that they are pushed out of the beach so that MPT will have ready possession of the Beaches. We also learned that few years ago there was move by MPT to get these people out with the intervention of few public spirited people that move was foiled after protests.
The above cited document from the Ministry of Shipping, New Delhi has interesting mission and vision statement for MPT. It reads “Mormugao Port Trust wishes to be the preferred port for the reason, recognized for its environmental policies, efficiency in cargo handling and services to customers, providing quality of life for the work force and support the community.” We must let you know that your expansion plans in Vasco Bay, Baina Bay, Marina at Sancoale and Marina at Bambolim is opposite of recognizing MPT for environmental policies and support to the community. These projects are part of absurd environmental policies and completely against community. In fact both these projects are declaration of war against the community.
Therefore Bharat Mukti Morcha expresses total opposition to the expansion plans of MPT into Vasco Bay, Baina Bay, Zuari River for marinas at Sancoale and Bambolim for the reasons of displacement of the people living on the beaches and disruption of fishing activities.
Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon you as responsible officer of Mormugao Port Trust -that is governed by Major Port Trust Act 1963 - to call off MPT plans of expansion into Vasco Bay and Baina Bay affecting people at Baina, Khariwada and Destorro as well as Zuari river proposed Marinas at Sancoale and Bambolim at the earliest.
Awaiting your early and prompt action,
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely

Maggie Silveira
President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa State

Mohammad Saleem
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Vasco Unit

Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mutkti Morcha, Cacra unit

Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Bambolim unit

Soccoro Braganza
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridao unit

Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Curca Unit

Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Odxel Unit

Milind Palkar
Convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Nauxi Unit

Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridao Unit

Deu Kankonkar
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Nauxi Unit

Jeronio D’Souza
Co-convener, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Siridao Unit

Vishnu Kankonkar
Secretary, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Bambolim Unit

No comments:

Post a Comment