Tuesday 30 May 2017

BMM Letter to Indian Prime Minister on Aadhaar Card Compulsions

Date: 30th May 2017

Mr. Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India,
South Block, Raisina Hill.
New Delhi-110011.

Fax: +91-11-23019545,  23016857.

Subject: Revocation of Aadhaar Card Compulsions

Dear Mr. Narendra Modi,

It has come to our attention that you were totally against Aadhaar Card before your were elected Prime Minister of India and had even written to government authorities protesting concepts of Aadhaar Card promoted by then Manmohan Singh led Congress government. On 26.09.2013 few days after Supreme Court order against Aadhaar Card scheme you had also publicly attacked Aadhaar Card in BJP’s election campaign public meeting prior to the Lok Sabha elections. Videos of you speaking against Aadhaar are widely circulated on Whatsapp and now your government’s enforcement of the same is truly unfortunate.
We question as to why you have not scrapped Aaddhar Card even though you have completed three years in office as Prime Minister of India. Instead of cancellation your government has provided legal sanctions to the dangerous Aadhaar card by passing Aadhaar Act as Money Bill in the Lok Sabha stifling all the dissent and debate. Even this law does not make Aadhaar Card compulsory but voluntary. The trend to links up Aadhaar card to bank account and to PAN are dangerous.

Several government institutions of the Government like Provident Fund of India, Medical Collages, Banks, Public Distribution Services (ration), LPG distribution services are making Aadhaar card number compulsory. You have maintained before last Lok Sabha elections Aadhaar card is security threat to the nation and we agree with that. But why instead of shutting of Aadhaar card you are encouraging this even further? Why didn’t you shut down Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) set up by Congress Party in power? This only shows that your government is no different from Congress government in this matter and you have taken U-turn in your actions.

This is illegal, arbitrary and dangerous placing lives of People of India in tremendous risk.
We also wish to bring to your attention that Government of India has informed Supreme Court of India on May 03, 2017 that Aadhaar data has been leaked and this has been reported in various media. We share one report link http://www.news18.com/news/india/yes-aadhaar-data-were-leaked-centre-to-supreme-court-1390919.html for your perusal. Several crores of Aadhaar numbers are leaked according to the study conducted by Centre of Internet and Society based in Bangalore with links : http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/nformation-security-practices-of-aadhaar-or-lack-of-a-documentation-of-public-availability-of-aadhaar-numbers-with-sensitive-personal-fianacial-information-1
You are requested to reverse this decision and eliminate requirement of Aadhaar card in India not withstanding as to how much expenditure has already been made. Lives of Indian people are precious but Aadhaar card treats it as casual. We found your approach to Aadhaar card is also casual. Before the elections you opposed and then after elections you supported. There is no integrity in what you speak and what you do as proved from Aadhaar card stands you changed time and again.   

You may very well take the statement of Senior Lawyer Shyam Diwan on May 03, 2017 in Supreme Court very seriously as we have taken it too, “Civil rights movement was started by a woman who was made to sit at the back of a bus. Nobody asked her to make a big deal of this.”

Stick to what you spoke at the Public meetings before last Parliament Elections. Video of your speech on 26.09.2013 is getting circulated widely on Whatsapp and you must have seen it too.

Crores of citizens data is already leaked you are doing nothing about it nor UIDAI is doing anything about it. This is a reflection of complete irresponsibility in managing collected private data of residents in India. There is also information in circulation that corporate in India already posses Aadhaar data as it was collected without law. The Law that Lok Sabha passed is incapable of preventing leakage of citizens/residents data gathered from Aadhaar enrollment.

Awaiting your quick action to scrap entire edifice of Aadhaar Card and restore security of every Indian currently under threat from Aadhaar card.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Maggie Silveira,

President, Goa Unit

Thursday 25 May 2017

Call for Boycott of Panchayat Elections 2017 in Goa

Panchayat elections in Goa are scheduled to be held on June 11, 2017. We observed that Panchayat powers to decide for the village has been taken away by two recent laws. One law is Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014 passed by Goa Government and second law is The National Waterways Act, 2016 of the Central government.

Goa Investment Promotion Act overrides Panchayats and  powers are taken away, and Panchayats have become Powerless in final decision makings etc. Several Panchayat and municipal areas such as Vanxim-Malar (Capao), Bambolim-Nauxim, Sancoale, Amdoi-Sanguem etc are brought under the ambit of Investment Promotion and facilitation Board (IPB) and declared as Investment Promotion Areas (IPA) e.g. Vanxim in order to facilitate massive land grabs by private corporate interests. Powers of decision making are taken away from the local Panchayats and given to the Secretary (Panchayats) who is always an IAS officer appointed to Goa by the Central Government (Delhi). When Panchayats in Goa are ruled from Delhi for the benefit of private corporate through this law then election to the Panchayats in Goa is a façade and must be boycotted till this law is scrapped.

The National Waterways Act, 2016 has taken control over Goa’s six rivers – Sal, Zuari, Mandovi, Mapusa/Moira, Chapora and Cumbharjua to the Inland Waterways Authority of India based in Gurgaon, Haryana. Its package that along with the rivers that pass through several village Panchayats jurisdiction central government rule extends to all the portions of attached village lands by virtue of Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985. The reason is to get funds for dredging of rivers in Goa damaging fishing while benefiting mining, tourism and gambling involved Corporate. Dredging is known to cause ecological damage from NGT study on MPT dredging of Arabian Sea near Vasco. With Goa’s rivers taken over by Central Government will make fishermen livelihood miserable branding them as trespassers by invoking section 35 (j) of Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985. 

Central Governments’ this decision is against common people of Goa and in collaboration with Goa Government. This is total bulldozing of Panchayat rule and elections to Panchayat in presence of this law over Goa are mockery.

Bharat Mukti Morcha therefore calls for boycott of Panchayat Election in Goa till the above two laws are repealed.


Maggie Silveira, President, Goa Unit

Declaration of Goa’s rivers as National Waterways: Factual status

Government of India published an extraordinary Gazette notification Part II, section 1 on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Notification is from Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) and mentions that The National Waterways Act 2016 (No. 17 of 2016) of the Parliament received the assent of the President on the 25th March, 2016. President on this date was Pranab Mukherjee. He was present for the convocation ceremony of Goa University in 2017.
It is recorded in the gazette notification “An Act to make provisions for existing national waterways and to provide for the declaration of certain inland waterways to be national waterways and also to provide for the regulation and development of the said waterways for the purpose of shipping and navigation and for matters connected therewith or incidental threto.” The two objectives are highlighted in bold above.
Through this Act existing law ‘the Inland Waterways Authority of India Act, 1985’ stands amended in its Section 2 clause (h) as “national waterway” means the inland waterway declared by section 2 of the National Waterways Act, 2016, to be a national waterway.
Through this Act 111 rivers of India are declared as National Waterways. Out of which six rivers are from Goa as follows:
a.       (1) National Waterway 25: Chapora River, from Bridge at State Highway No. 124 (1 Km from Maneri village) upto Confluence of Chapora river with Arabian Sea at Morjim.
b.       (2) National Waterway 27: Cumberjua River, from confluence of Cumberjua and Zuari rivers near Cortalim ferry terminal to Confluence of Cumberjua and Mandovi rivers near Sao Martias Vidhan Parishad.
c.       (3) National Waterway 68: Mandovi River, from Bridge at Usgao to Confluence of Mandovi river with Arabian Sea at Reis Magos.
d.      (4) National Waterway 71: Mapusa/Moide river, from Bridge at National Highway – 17 at Mapusa to Confluence point of Mapusa and Mandovi rivers at Porvorim.
e.      (5) National Waterway 88: Sal river, from Orlim/Deusa Bridge to Confluence with Arabian Sea at Mobor.
f.        (6) National Waterway 111: Zuari river, from Sanvordem Bridge to Marmugao Port.


Control of these rivers from March 26, 2016 is with Inland Waterways Authority of India based in Gurgaon, Haryana and headed by an IAS officer.
Main purpose for this authority is to carry on dredging and other measures to make rivers deep for navigation of ships as per section 14 clause (c) of Inland Waterways Authority of India Act 1985. Dredging of riverbed and sea bed is known to damage biodiversity of rivers and sea, confirmed by National Green Tribunal study carried on at MPT dredging site of Arabian Sea.
All the land attached to rivers comes under the control of Inland Waterways Authority of India. How much distance is its jurisdiction is not mentioned in the Act. One report online placed this figure at 500 meters from the river. Section 2 clause (a) states defines “appurtenant land” as “all lands appurtenant to national waterway, whether demarcated or not”.
Authority has power to make regulations to exclude fishing and fishermen from carrying on in National Waterways by declaring their activities as ‘disorderly, undesirable and trespassers’ as per section 35 clause (j).

Who stands to benefit?

Main players who are responsible to get Goa’s rivers under Inland Waterways Authority of India is mining companies. They approached this Authority as barge transportation was chocked up as per press cuttings of 22/01/2010 made available on the Authority’s website.
Authority’s chairman visited Goa on 21/01/2010 and met up with delegates of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Cesar Menezes and others, Goa Barge Owners Association President Atul Jadhav and others and MPT Chairman Praveen Agarwal. Chairman Mr. Gaur did not meet any fishers organizations in Goa even though all the six rivers are used extensively for fishing purpose.
According to Herald dated 22/01/2010 following is reported:
g.       “The development of inland waterways will include extensive dredging, night navigational facilities and construction of banks, which will compliment the ship movements along the waters.”
h.      “The Central government and IWAI together will work on the development of inland water once it is nationalized.” Gaur said.”
i.         “The central authority however said that Goa will have to give away its right to collect tax of Rs.100/- per tone for carrying ore in the barges.”
The Times of India of the same date 22/01/2010 reported the following:
j.        “Gaur said development of the Goa’s waterways will entail dredging to provide a draft (depth) of four meters.
k.       “Strong support to nationalize Goa’s waterways came from the Goa Barge owners association whose President, Atul Jadhav, explained the various constrains they operate under. Barges are grounded for days on end due to low depths, greatly reducing ore transportations in Goa, he said.”
l.         “Official sources said the State government had formed a committee about eight years ago to study the benefits of nationalizing Goa’s inland waterways. The committee visited Cochin to study the development that the NWAI had done there and concluded that Goa Waterways were much more developed. The proposal was therefore selved.”

Gomantak Times of same date 22/01/2010 had additional bit of info:
m.    “If Goa gets national waterways we will spend 400-500 crores required for dredging and developing riverbanks, the Chairman added.”   

Navhind Times of the same date 22/01/2010 is more detailed in the matter as follows:
n.      Story has a title “IWAI Chairman in State, talks held on National Waterways States”
o.      IWAI Chairman Mr. S.P.Gaur visited Goa on 21/01/2010.
p.      “Goa’s river potential to be expanded to facilitate bigger barges to operate.”
q.      “Authority takes up drenching of the river floors, Construction of Jetties, night navigation facilities.”
r.        “Under Inland Vessels Act State Government retains control of rivers.”
s.       “Permission of Authority could be required to construct bridges.”
t.        “Within 2-3 years inland waterways could be declared national waterways.”
u.      “Government has to give consent to declare the rivers as national waterways.”
v.       “IWAI is in Goa as various stakeholders requested as inland waterways had got saturated and needed solution and state government not doing anything in this regard.”
w.     “Waterways and rivers are state subjects, usually centre doesn’t take any initiative”
x.       “IWAI chairman met chairman of GCCI Mr. Ceasar Menezes, Barge Owner Association President Mr. Atul Jadhav, The Captain of Ports, MPT Chairman Praveen Agarwal.”

Politics underplay

Most of the People of Goa was not aware as to what went on from 2010 upto 2016 when Goa’s rivers were declared as National Waterways. Press in Goa began to report only in the month of August 2016 when MLA Vijay Sardesai began to oppose Central Government’s decision to declare six of Goa’s rivers as National waterways. On August 09 - 10, 2016 Vijay Sardessai spoke openly against this in the Goa Legislative Assembly claiming that this decision was meant to satisfy interest of the Jindals, Vedanta and other corporate interests. He formed Goa Forward Party (GFP) and opposition to Nationalization of Goa’s rivers was one of the main election planks of the party. Party won three seats and then joined BJP. Within few weeks GFP reversed its stand on Nationalization of Goa’s rivers informing that Party has compromised with the central Government. Nature of compromise is not known to the public. Vijay’s most powerful speech in the Assembly against Nationalization of Goa’s rivers was on August 08, 2016. He continued speaking out the next day too in the Assembly. There were others who also spoke and amongst those includes Pandurang Madkaikar, the then Congress MLA of Cumbharjua Constituency.

Cheap river navigation or docile Goa’s native people?

According to Amitab Verma , (Chairman of the IWAI) “Revolution in Offing on Inland Water Transport Front”. Corporate India. May 15, 2016, P. 40-41’. Inland water transport expansion is for two reasons: Cargo transportation in cheap manner, and for tourism.
Chapora river and Sal river has been nationalized for the purpose of Tourism including potential for transportation connected to 5 star hotels and location of casinos. While the rest of rivers are known for use by mining barges. Mapusa/Moide River is used to transport ore from Paira in Bicholim while Mandovi and Zuari are routinely used by Barges for transporting ore and coal. Cumbaharjua River acts as Canal joining Mandovi and Zauri together and heavily used by mining barges.

Barges are already causing damage to Goa’s ecology

Mining barges as it are creating various kinds of problems. We here re-produce an extract from an exclusive interview of past Chairman of MPT Cyril George to Herald dated 17/06/2015:
People should also understand that there are so many shipyards not following environmental laws, besides there are barges along the Zuari river bay and each of these barges has created health hazards, environmental hazards, besides pollution. These aspects are ignored.
Now if Chairman of MPT declares that barges along with Shipyards are creating such a huge problems then what can be deducted when barge fleet expands? Deduction is very simple to understand: Multiplied health hazards, intensified environmental hazards and drastic rise in pollution.

Ecological assessment missing

The question remains: When did Goa Government gave consent to Central Government to include six of our rivers as National Waterways? Why People of Goa not consulted before granting consent to the central government in this crucial aspect? What impact will dredging of Goa’s rivers will have on ecology and livelihood of People? Did Goa Government carried on any EIA study? If yes, why it is not discussed publicly? If No. Why? Is Goa Government so careless towards ecology and its People?
How much tax Goa government is collecting per tone from barges carrying ore and coal in Goa’s rivers? How much tax Central government is collecting per tone from barges carrying ore and coal in Goa’s rivers? When did IWAI grant permissions to construct new bridges over Mandovi and Zuari rivers in Goa?
Coastal Villages specially sharing banks with rivers needs to discuss this thoroughly amongst themselves. Discussions amongst only elected members will not be sufficient as it is known fact that elected members are co-opted by various vested interests and really do not carry public interest in their way of dealings.
There is another serious implication to this aspect. IWAI as per section 28 has power to enter any building, enclosed court or garden attached to dwelling house with 24 hour notice.
More Land Acquisitions as Land grabs

As per section 26 this Authority can compulsorily acquire land using Land acquisition laws. Pretty insane proposition indeed! There is need to audit as to how much of Goa’s land is under Central Government control. This is going to be an addition. Besides there is de facto control of river bank coast of nationalized rivers with IWAI. Irrespective of the fact whether lands are demarcated or not. This is a sophisticated form of land grab of Goa’s rivers as well as attached lands.

Invisible fishing community

With central government’s direct control over six rivers of Goa, Indian government has direct stake in Goa’s majority of Geography. What are intentions of Central government and their allies in Goa is anyone’s guess. Fishermen are told to stop fishing in rivers. Instead take up big trawler and group of four fishermen take it on loan and move into deep sea for fishing. Central government’s seriousness in this matter is reflected in fact that it has crafted a full fledged scheme for this purpose named “Sagarmala”.
The question now is why should Central government go in for nationalization of rivers ruthlessly? It is because Central government is bought off by few corporate of the global elites who want to control the world.  Dredging of rivers is very important step towards making the fishermen insecure and rootless. Only way fishermen can survive is through intelligent resistance and broader networking.

Bamani betrayal

Fishermen are not Bamons. Bamons are in the decision making positions in various parties, organizations and government. If they had to care for the fishermen then six rivers of Goa would have never been brought under the purview of IWAI. Bamons and their parties only used this issue to gather public support and votes and they forget. This is what accomplished by Goa Forward Party (GFP). Kanshi Ram has written book many years ago titled “Chamcha Age”. It describes as to how natives of India has been  made slaves of Bamon Political interests and even if they are elected they are not willing to take any steps towards liberation of India’s natives from clutches of Bamon Raj. Because of this reason Goa today has government that is illegitimate government. Minority Bamons who are foreigners to India rule over native majority of India. M.K. Gandhi fought British because they were foreigners ruling over India.

Currently there is no Political Party in Goa Assembly that speaks out the interest of Fishermen and fishing based livelihoods in a sincere genuine manner.

Vanxim Revolt is now Seven Years: Some reflections

May 2017 is a very important juncture in time for several reasons for Vanxim proved a way to the skeletons in the office of the Goa Archbishop. May 13, 2017 witnessed consecration of Archdiocese of Goa to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary’s views on God as recorded in Luke 1:51-53 commands our attention:
“He has shewed might in his arm: he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He has put down mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He has filled hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.”
This consecration is also the an occasion to clean up all heresies such as clandestine dictates against Latin Mass and Latin Litanies besides to reverse trend of high paced liquidation of Public Lands given to various religious institutes under Goa Diocese.
May 2017 completes open rebellion in Vanxim against Land grab by Corporate entity Ozone facilitated by Mahendra Gaunekar and the Office of the Goa Archbishop. On May 16, 2010 MLA Pandurang Madkaikar, Mahendra Gaunkar and Ozone officials visited Vanxim to convince people to accept land grab of their island. They did not succeed and had open confrontation. Overwhelming majority people opposed and challenged Pandurang Madkaikar as well as Mahendra Gaunekar along with Rudresh Chodankar.
May 23rd is also the birthday of murdered Fr.Bismarque Dias. He spoke in defense of Vanxim and continuously questioned role of the Office of the Goa Archbishops in selling Vanxim. After State agencies avoided to register his death as murder High Court few weeks ago has directed Police to register this case as murder and commence investigations.
In view of the above circumstances it is important to reflect critically and question few taken-for-granted assumptions on Politics of Vanxim land deal.
1.       Mafia background: Although sounds scandalous Vanxim land deal is purely a mafia deal. Mafia that has not only penetrated deep into the office of the Goa Archbishop and visible from 1995 onwards. Fr.Victor Rodrigues has been key mole in this regard as he is the one who signed Vanxim Agreement to Sale in April 1999 on behalf of then Archbishop Raul Nicolau Gonsalves. Agreement to sale itself commits Archdiocese to sell Vanxim to corporate body directly. It was mafia operations by which Narayan Bhonsle refused to hand over charge to the new committee of Vanxim Tetants Association and destroyed Vanxim bunds allowing Mandovi waters into Paddy fields and rendering cultivation impossible. It was mafia influence in the office of the Tiswadi Mamlatdar who ignored the complaints on breach of bunds in Vanxim and illegalities of functioning of Tenants Association of Vanxim.
2.       Basis in Fraud: N.O.C obtained from Tenants Association of Vanxim  to sell Vanxim is fraud. This is confirmed as after repeated questioning Goa Diocese is not been able to make this document Public. What documents are presented to Rome is not known to public at all. Based on this fraud letter is written to Rome to get permission to sell Vanxim and claims are floating that Vatican has granted the permissions to sell Vanxim. This is again a fraud as Office of the Archbishop has not made these documents public in spite of repeated public questioning. By keeping these documents hidden Office of the Goa Archbishop is causing grave insult to Pope John Paul II who is believed to have sanctioned sale of Vanxim. If this saint was petitioned to sell Vanxim and if indeed if he has sanctioned sale of Vanxim then People of Goa has right to see these documents made public. We want to know as to how Goa Archbishop’s office had presented Vanxim case for liquidation and what has been the response. Secrecy in these matters is intolerable.
3.       Forged Signatures of witnesses: Signatures of the one staff of the Bishop’s house on Agreement to Sale and Sale Deed differs drastically. Investigations followed by criminal proceedings are the need of the hour on Vanxim deal on this aspect too.
4.        Buyer without Address: It is a common practice that both the seller and the buyer must have their complete address recorded in the documents of Agreement to Sale as well as Sale deed. While sellers’ address is recorded as Altinho, Panjim in total the buyers’ address is kept concealed in both the documents and recorded simply as Mahendra Gaunekar, Panjim. Why is it so? Why Mahendra Gaunekar’s full address is not recorded in full? Is it because Gaunekar is next door neighbor to the Office of the Goa Archbishop? Why Gaunekar’s address has been kept clandestine? The sale deed as well as Agreement to Sale was carried on in the office of Civil Authority. Why Civil Authorities allowed this to happen? It is clearly evident that Civil Authorities are as corrupt as the office of the Goa Archbishop.
5.       Long term destruction of agriculture: People of Vanxim were self sufficient in food. Paddy always yielded bumper crops. People were enterprising in their family farms and were autonomous. There was no dependency. Paddy was ably supplemented by fishing activities. Destruction of agriculture however destroyed but Paddy cultivation as well as traditional fishing at Vanxim manos. State authorities are colluded with anti-social elements and ignored public complaints and cultivation remains impossible. State Authorities behaved irresponsibly through their acts of omission. Now agriculture stands ravaged. Paddy fields are full of mangroves. For food People have to buy food from outside or from Public Distribution Shops (PDS) in Malar. Mafia rule in India has turned all pervasive. PDS is asking for Aadhaar Card for few kiolos of wheat and rice. Aadhaar data is for surveillance purpose and makes mockery of privacy. Destruction of food sustainability in Vanxim has resulted in such a enslaving situation and the Office of Goa Archbishop is clearly responsible to this.
6.       Ozone Intervention as Land Grab: buying of Vanxim bunds and Paddy fields by Bangalore based corporate Ozone represents colonial and imperialist designs of Capital accumulation and reducing local people as their subjects. In fact this is very clear from the Joint Development Agreement between Mahendra Gaunkar and Ozone corporate. Ozone claims that they are going to decide as to who stays in Vanxim. This document also outlines very clearly Goa
Archbishop is going to facilitate takeover of every residential house in Vanxim by Ozone. There are reports from Goa Archdiocese that Mahendra Gaunekar has approached to buy off residential houses in Vanxim but refused most probably due to Public outcry. Most of the houses in Vanxim have executed 99 years lease deed with the office of the Goa Archbishop. This legal relationship is now sought to be broken and sale deed promoted. This is mainly a capitalist move to put pressure on Vanxim residence to pay up very high costs for the purchase of their house plots. Once the sale deed is executed Ozone and their mafia group is free to unleash reign of terror on Vanxim residence to sell off their house plots to Ozone jus as they have gone about with Paddy fields. Declaration of Vanxim (and also Tiracol) as Eco-tourism site are only green pretexts of Land Grab.
7.       Can the Office of the Archbishop absolve responsibility to Vanxim? There are arguments put forth by few that once the Archbishop’s house sold Vanxim to Mahendra Gaunekar role of the Archdiocese is over and those who are protesting over Vanxim must not talk of Vanxim. The argument further extends that office of Archbishop is not responsible for the fact that Mahendra Gaonekar has sold Vanxim to Ozone corporate. This is not a valid argument. The Agreement to Sale of Vanxim of 1999 itself is clear on this. It binds Archdiocese to sell Vanxim even directly to the Corporate. The fact that Archdiocese has not done so and sold Vanxim Paddy fields to Mahendra Gaunekar does not exempt diocese of its responsibilities towards Vanxim. From the Agreement to Sale it is clearly deductable that Archdiocese was fully aware that Vanxim is going to be transferred to private corporate and consented to it. Storm has to be raised against the office of the Archbishop of Goa and we are sure clean – up is round the corner. Vanxim episode demonstrates clearly that mafia is ruling the office of Goa Archbishop for past several decades and Vanxim sale is a fruit of it. We cannot run away from this reality and pretend as if all is well.
8.       Who sold whose Paddy fields? Several people who sold paddy fields to Mahendra Gaunekar and Ozone corporate did no belong to them. So many of them were given to them only for cultivation purpose. Tenancy law created the situation in which rights were bestowed on those who are cultivating the paddy fields in the decade of 1960’s. There are many such people who have entered into commercial deals with Gaunekar and Ozone signed their papers away for lakhs of rupees.
9.       Paddy fields for commercial housing and tourism for the super rich? What is the logic that justifies allocation of paddy field spaces on Vanxim Island in the middle of Mandovi River for housing and tourism for the super rich of the world? What is the nature of this development? Disgusting. This is possible because of the nexus of the office of the Goa Archbishop. Setting up of fast track courts to solve tenancy cases have more to do with facilitating land grabs all over Goa than to grant rights to tenants.
10.   Ozone and Gaunekar, destiny makers of Vanxim? These entities have common interest to gobble up Vanxim. They are seen actively involved through proxies to support, propose and oppose various people as candidates for the forthcoming Panchayat elections. For the past Assembly elections Ozone and Gaunekar lobbied with Manohar Parrikar to get Pandurang Madkaikar into BJP and he got elected as the scarecrow of EVMs in Cumbharjua constituency. This is a very sad reality and the office of Goa Archbishop is responsible for getting Gaunkar and Ozone involved in Vanxim and they are blaming Vanxim People for Catholics leaving the Church. Goa Archbishop’s office is centre to sell off Catholics today. Tsunami has to be raised against the office of the Goa Archbishop for their deeds in Vanxim and we are sure it is take place and wipe everything clean and new reign take over.
11.   Archbishop responsible for Vanxim Sale alone? No. Fr. Noel D’Costa in a mass e-mail circulated few moths ago clarified that Archbishop is not the only one who is involved in decision to sell Vanxim. These are others involved too. So Archbishop cannot be held responsible alone, others too must be named. Investigations have revealed that currently rules of the Church after Vatican II stripped off Archbishops of their autonomy in decision making. Perhaps this is what Fr. Noel D’Costa is hinting at. If Archbishops are caged parrots in post-Vatican II church then they must revolt against it like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre have revolted and his ordained priests and Bishops are carrying the age old tradition as per writings of St. Paul’s call to keep up to the tradition. There is tremendous resistance going on all over the world. Let Goa Clergy too join in.  If Vanxim episode calls for the revolt of Archbishops, Priests and Laity of Goa against the Vatican II rules so let it be. We cannot tolerate what the Office of Goa Archbishop has done in Vanxim.
12.   Towards retaining autonomy over Vanxim: No Political Party, no Corporate body can steer Vanxim out of present crisis. Political Parties are only there to use people for gaining of power. Once they gain power they discard their voters. Present and past government formations is an example testimony to this effect. Very often those who get elected get co-opted financially and even ideologically. Present member of Malar Panchayat Greeta Vaz is an excellent example. She was proposed elected with a mass public support to be a voice of Vanxim revolt in the Panchayat. Yet she betrayed. She did not push for a single resolution opposing Ozone project in Vanxim. She did not get Malar Panchayat to pass a resolution against declaration of Vanxim as Investment Promotion Area. Instead she has become a voice of corporate Ozone! Ridiculous. What lessons we learn from here? Democracy essentially is method for division and strife in the village. This division has come to a boiling point with the Ozone and Gaunekar in the picture. They would have never been in the picture if not for the stupidest decision making by the office of the Goa Archbishop to sell Vanxim. Looking at all this scenario there is only one direction visible. Vanxim islanders have to shun the Political Parties for good and take responsibility for the island like the ancestors did and cared and developed in a way they wanted.   Panchayat is currently defunct body and Chief Minister is the Chairman of Investment Promotion Board deciding pace of Land grabs all over Goa. Elected member from Vanxim has important role to play: an unceasing voice in defense of Vanxim from Corporate Land grabs. Same is the role of every one on the island as vey often elected members get co-opted : to be an unceasing voice in defense of Vanxim. Those running after money, parties, power, self-glory, pride etc are only speeding up their self destruction.
13.   What if other Church deals get affected with Vanxim agitation? This is a question fielded at us often pointing towards similar unethical practices followed by the office of the Goa Archbishop in other places in Goa like dealings with Models Constructions in Taleigao Souto Maior lands meant for welfare of local tribal people. We are not bothered as to what impact Vanxim agitation is to have on other similar dealings irrespective of culprit’s geographic identity. Ethically correct dealings will have no negative impact of Vanxim agitation. It is only unethical dealings in land leading to grabs by locals and outstation actors that are bound to be affected negatively and their credibility questioned. So be it. Souto Maoir dealings once again proves Advocate John Fernandes right that Office of the Goa Archbishop cares a damn for tribal people of Goa – Gawdas, Velips. Questions on Vanxim deal will continue to be raised in public domain irrespective of what impact it is having on other deals of land grab involving office of the Goa Archbishop. With the Consecration of Goa Archdiocese it is natural that the suppressed and the oppressed must rise up with their voices and rich must go away with empty hands.  No one is focusing on how Leading Hotels opposed by Church in Tiracol is allowed to enter in land deals in Nuvem. No one examines roles played Fr. Victor Rodrigues there in Nuvem and while he was Procurator of the Diocese and signed agreement to Sale on Vanxim. No one examines role of Aldona Parish Priest Fr. Arlino D’Mello while served as Procurator and sold Vanxim. There are too many and too dangerous skeletons in the office of Goa Archbishop they have to be dealt with by the respective Church Authorities instead of waiting for Public fury to dislodge them.

14.   Intellectuals as Parasites: Even though so may intellectuals are aware of the layers of scams relating to Vanxim land deals they are silent. Few poke up and they for mysterious reasons got silenced. We will not name them but hopefully they will make their finding public without fear immidiately. Now that Goa Archdiocese is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary there is no scope of fear. Mary takes away all fears make us all new and undoubtedly with consecration of Goa Diocese to her Immaculate Heart Mary is set to pull down Bamon Raj and other existing satanic kingdoms and dominions. Anyway, leaving these intellectuals aside we continue to speak up, we continue to confront, we continue to fight our battle in forthright manner.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Open washing of mining barges in Mandovi as Captain of Ports turns blind eye

This mining barge bearing number M V Mandovi PNJ 614 is captured on camera at 11.40 am today May 16, 2017 at Old Goa. The speeding barge is being openly washed in the middle of Mandovi by two people and third one supervises. One is forced to ponder was to why Captain of Ports is overlooking the erring barges? Why CoP is relaxed on this count? Earlier on April 18, 2017 another barge F SHARAD PNJ 222was caught on camera doing similar washing activity in Mandovi. You may visit the links here. 

Why affairs has gone so sloppy at Captain of Ports? Is mining companies taken control of Captain of Ports so that he is forced to maintain silence? Mining industry has looted and plundered Goa for past 60 years. Shah commission gave us some glimpse of the way it was done. Now all we need is immediate halt to molestation of Goa rivers by mining industry through their barges.Or did captain of Ports authorized open washing washing of barges in Rivers of Goa?  

Thursday 11 May 2017

BMM objections to Jindal's coal handling at MPT

Date: 29th April 2017
The Member Secretary
Goa State Pollution Control Board,
Panjim, Goa

Subject: Objections to Proposed Terminal Capacity Enhancement at Berth 5A-6A of Mormugao Port, Mormugao, Goa
I place my objections to the above mentioned subject as under:
1.    Chapter 1 of the EIA of the above proposal prepared by WAPCOS Limited (A Government of India Undertaking, 76 C, Sector 18, Gurgaon – 122015, Haryana, India states “Mormugao Port is a Major Port on the West Coast of India has completed 125 years of glorious service to the nation’s maritime trade.”  MPT was never part of nation’s maritime trade for 125 years. It became part of India only in 1961 when India annexed Goa through conquest. Before that it was developed to serve Colonial powers Portugal and England for colonial purpose. Declaring 125 years as glorious service to nation’s maritime trade is politically objectionable as it is vague. Which nation did MPT served gloriously for 125 years?
2.    EIA Chapter 1 further states “JSW Energy Ltd. (JSWEL) is the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) set up in the state of Karnataka. The company has set up 2 units of 130 MW each and two units of 300 MW each and all these units are generating power using Corex gas and coal.” So it is assumed that these MPT berths will be used for the import of coal for this independent power producer in Karnataka. Goa should not be allowed to suffer due to coal for this power producer.
3.    EIA Chapter 1 continues “Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) is strategically located to cater to the needs of the coal requirement of steel and power plants of its hinterland in Karnataka. Although MPT is ideally located to serve the industries in the hinterlands of Karnataka, a lot of cargo including coal is imported through some of the ports situated in eastern coast of India despite the fact that the rail distance from these port to the industries are much more compared to Mormugao Port.” So Goa is only the corridor for Coal. We oppose making Goa corridor for Coal.
4.    EIA Chapter 1 continues “Imports/Exports through Capesize vis-à-vis Panamax vessels will result in freight advantage and thereby the industries stand to benefit.” So Goa no way benefits. Only industries stand to benefit. People of Goa do not stand to benefit. They stand to loose their health due to coal pollution.
5.    Chapter of the mentioned EIA continues “The dust barrierisation and pollution prevention-control of the existing facility will also be brought to the level of state-of-art protection to ensure lesser total pollution from the proposed facility.” So currently it is not at the level of state-of-art protection. And even after bringing in state-of-art protection pollution will not be stopped. So what is the use of inducting state-of-art protection? JSW existing operations at these ports must be stopped, EC must be denied for expansion.
6.    EIA studies must be comprehensive and not fragmented. Fragmented impact assessment is deceptive and misleading. Currently WAPCOS has done three EIA studies: two for MPT and one for JSW in a fragmented manner.
7.    Above mentioned EIA of JSW in Chapter 2 states ““Mormugao Port Trust (MoPT) is strategically located to cater the needs of the coal requirement of steel and power plants of its hinterland in Karnataka.” Just because MPT is strategically located Goa must not be abused through coal pollution and heightened risk to life.
8.    Chapter 2 of this EIA notes “MPT has taken up the dredging of the approach channel and the port area for permitting navigation of Cape Size Vessels of up to 180,000 DWT.” Dredging for channel deepening has already destroyed bio-diversity as per study report submitted to NGT in this matter. No dredging of Arabian Sea must be permitted to be carried on by MPT or anybody else.
9.    Further Chapter 2 continues ““MPT has proposed to deepen the approach channel to suit the navigational requirements of Capesize vessels. The outer channel which are having present depth of -14.4 m will be deepened to -19.8 m and the inner Channel from -14.1 m to -19.5 m. This will facilitate navigation of Capesize Vessels at any state of the tide.” The success of this project depends upon commitment from MPT to deepen the approach channel. So when one is inter-dependent upon another why have Public Hearings fixed separately?
10. Chapter 2 of mentioned EIA continues “Ships presently calling at the Berths are generally up to 80,000 – 90,000 DWT (Panamax size vessels). Consequent upon the completion of dredging for the draft depth of 19.8m by Mormugao Port, the port would be able to handle cape size vessels up to 180,000 DWT capacities.” What are the ecological, environmental and social costs of this dredging from 14.1 m to 19.5 m ? There is no data in the EIA on this subject.
11. Silent feature listed in the above mentioned JSW EIA under Chapter 2 as “No additional land area or waterfront is involved” is deceptive as the project is entirely dependent upon dredging of water front by MPT and that is impacts not discussed here jointly is clearly dubious.
12. JSW EIA states in Chapter 2 “Break Bulk Cargo (Import Cargo) (Coal, Coke, Coking Coal, Limestone, Iron Ore, Bauxite, Dolomite etc.)” This has been the scene of pollution for Vasco for very long and source of public outcry. This is ridiculous, adding insult to the injury!
13. This EIA further notes in Chapter 2 “Steel Slab / Coil, Steel Finished Products (Export Cargo)” So here is export of steel manufactured in Karnataka exported through MPT. Goa is just a corridor. Why Goa has to suffer as corridor for coal?
14. Chapter 2 of JSW EIA states “The maximum fully laden vessel draft that can be accommodated within the harbour at all stages of the tide is 13.4 m allowing for under-keel clearances. However, vessels are sometimes loaded up to 14.1 m draft, departing only on the high tide. However, the present channel is planned to accommodate the Cape Size vessels with a dredged depth of -19.8 m. Once dredging is completed the Cape Size vessels would call upon the Port.” Once again there is reference to the dredging, so the three Public Hearings must be joint as ground operations are joined and dependent upon one and another.
15. Chapter 2 of JSW EIS continues “In the recent years the International price for Iron Ore has gone down appreciably. This has made import of the Iron Ore at low prices to the Indian Sub-continent affordable. The Western Australian and Brazilian Iron Ore with higher Iron content has made the life of steel makers’ lot easier.” So because of lowered price of iron life of steel makers is lot easier. Do people of Vasco has to suffer pollution only because of lowered price of iron ore?
16. Chapter 2 of this EIA of JSW further states “The main importer of coal through Mormugao Port is JSW Steel located at Vijayanagar, Karnataka.” So to serve JSW Goa has to surrender and sacrifice itself as corridor? This is ridiculous and must stop.
17. Further JSW EIA makes it very categorical disclosure ““Coal importers stand to gain substantial freight advantage by deploying Capesize vessels.” What does Goa and our People stand to gain? We cannot even breathe fresh air in Vasco because of Coal air pollution. Destiny of Goa cannot be left in the hands of Coal importers. Coal import from Vasco MPT Port must be stopped immediately.
18. Chapter 3 of this EIA points to “presence of coliform oranisms in two out of five samples indicates anthropogenic source of pollution.” This is an evidence of ground water pollution.
19. Table 3.41 in this EIA dealing with Fishermen population in the study area completely ignores Fishermen population in Madkai, Agassaim, Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Carcra, Odxel, Dona Paula and Caranzalem. For what reason the entire fishing villages are omitted from EIA? This is unacceptable and very dangerous way of conducting EIA.
20. Chapter 04 of this JSW EIA has points “potential sources of environmental impact from operations may include shipping movements, discharge of wastewater and solid waste, accidental spillage, cargo unloading/loading and storage, noise pollution, air pollution due to material transfer and handling.” When all impacts are listed and are known this JSW project must be rejected.
21. Chapter 04 further states “the accidental spillage of oil or fuel from construction machinery that may run off into near-by surface and groundwater water bodies and/or uncontrolled liquid effluents from the construction site.” So the possibility of ground water pollution is admitted in EIA itself. This is again dangerous and unacceptable.
22. Chapter 04 further states “potential sources of impacts on marine water quality during the Port operations are:
§  Disposal of Jetty related wastes
§  Disposal of ship generated wastes
§  Escapement of cargo, and
§  Effluent from coal stack yard”.
           These are enough reasons to anticipate diversity of polluting effects.
23. Chaper 04 of the above mentioned EIA further states “The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the protocol of 1978 (MARPOL, 73/78), has issued guidelines for prevention of Marine Pollution.” Present record of enforcement of this law is dismal. Several barges release their waste and fuel into Mandovi and Zuari rivers. Barges through left over ore into these rivers and also into Cumbharjua river. Barges are washed in the middle of rivers causing pollution of water and environmental hazard. Violations from ships carrying ore are known even to the highest authority at MPT and yet this law is not enforced and pollution is ignored. We quote here former Chairman of MPT from his exclusive interview to Herald in Goa on 17/06/2015 “People should also understand that there are so many shipyards not following environmental laws, besides there are barges along the Zuari river bay and each of these barges has created health hazards, environmental hazards besides pollution. These aspects are ignored.” These aspects are ignored by MPT itself and possibility of enforcement is zero. Hence this project must be rejected EC by MoEF.
24. On page 4-12 of this EIA it is stated “any fishing within the Jetty limits will be prohibited for safety and security reasons.” This is a direct admission of project that is bias against fishing and fishermen. Furthermore there has already been restrictions placed on fishermen in Mandovi and Zuari rivers where ore transportation is carried on through barges.
25. Page 4-15 states “Coal dust needs to be cleaned regularly from coal stack pile areas using water sprays. The water can be channeled from various locations and brought to a common point for treatment prior to disposal.” From which locations in Goa the water is going to be brought for spraying of coal is no disclosed.
26. The same page 4-15 admits air pollution from Coal “During unloading and storage at
            coal stockyard, the following sources/activities could lead to air pollution:
·         Dust caused by displacement of air
·         Dust blown out by the wind
·         Wind erosion from disposal sites”
27. This air pollution has turned Vasco city into a ghost town turning everything black and caused enormous health and environmental hazard. Goa cannot afford to be a corridor for coal. Dust blows already caused so much of public outcry. In China some cities are so polluted that blue sky is invisible. Companies make business selling packed plastic bags of pure air imported from Canada. Several Children born after 1992 in Beijing have not seen the Sun. Its all smog due to air pollution. Is that way we are heading?
28. Page 4-16 states “Water sprinkling dust suppression systems will be provided at strategic transfer points.” How much water will be used for sprinkling? From where the water will be supplied for sprinkling?
29. Page 5-1 states “The collected oily matter is stored in cans, etc. and disposed at the landfill sites designated by the district administration.” Oil waste will be disposed off in Goa. Where in Goa it will be disposed off? No answers available in EIA.
30. Page 5-5 states “All the solid wastes arising in the premises shall be properly classified and handed over to Goa Municipal Corporation for disposal.” Goa Municipal Corporation does not exist. This is fraud committed by JSW.
31. Pages 5-5 and 5-6 states “The reduction in the emissions is achieved by continuous spraying of water so that the surface remains moist and the dust gets suppressed.” This entire process is of spraying of water to achieve reduction in the emissions places huge pressure on Goa’s water sources. Goa can’t afford to waste precious water on dozing off perennial coal fires. Hence JSW handling of coal in Goa must be stopped. How much water will be needed for spraying annually?
32. On page 5-2 to 5-3 there is promise “The project authorities will work closely with representatives from the community living in the vicinity of project area to identify areas of concern and to mitigate dust-related impacts effectively (e.g., through direct meetings, utilization of construction management and inspection program, and/or through the complaint response program)”. The grammar of this is in future tense: the project authorities will work closely. JSW has been functioning at MPT from 2001 onwards. Why from that time till date no representatives from community living in the vicinity involved? On the contrary there is tension with the entire community in Vasco due to air pollution caused by Coal. Tension with local community is visible here. Further boiling could throw situation out of control.
33. Figure 5.1: Water sprinkler system at ship unloader facility. From where water will be supplied? What is the annual requirement?
34. Figure 5.2 A: The water spray/mist system in the berth hopper for dust suppression. From where water will be supplied? What is the annual requirement?
35. Figure 5.2 B: The water spray arrangement on the berth conveyor with the dust hood. From where water will be supplied? What is annual requirement?
36. Figure 5.2 C: Water spray system at the transfer towers and conveyor systems. From where the water will be supplied? What is the annual requirement?
37. Figure 5.3: Layout showing sprinkler system for open stack yards. From where the water will be supplied? What is the annual requirement?
38. Page 5-14 states “The water spraying is done periodically only to dowse the fire during stack piling.” This means there is burning coal involved. This is an insult to Goa and scandal to ecology.
39. Page 5-17 states “Mobilization procedures are required only in case the spill is likely to affect the coastline and damage the marine sensitive areas.” Possibility of oil spill affecting the coastline and damaging marine sensitive areas is very real and dangerous scenarios could result.
40. Page 5-18 states “Prepare releases for public and press conferences”. So this is a way public and press is going to be controlled? Is it brainwashing and manipulation of public opinion?
41. Same page 5-18 further states “The National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOS-DCP) describes the responsibilities of ports handling petroleum and its products. Indian Coast Guard is the Central Coordinating Agency for marine response.” So Oil spill can result in very serious disaster.
42. Figure 5.6 presents Water balance diagram during the operation phase with MPT as credited source. JWS requires 3 lakh litres of water daily for dust suppression and additional 1 lakh litres of water for fire fighting. Monthly requirement for fire fighting will be 30 lakh litres of water. While requirement for 365 days will be 365 lakh litres of water. Monthly requirement of water for dust suppression at the rate of stated figures of 3 lakh litres per day amounts to 90 lakh litres of water. While requirement for a year (365 days) it increases to 10,95,00,000 litres. Annual requirement of water for dust suppression and fire fighting totals to 14,60,00,000 litres per year. All this water is to be sourced from Goa. This is unacceptable. When water tanker comes to localities each family not even get 200 litres of water per day. Several schools children have no access to running water in toilets. Yet Jindals will be using water for the destruction of Humanity.
43.  This Jindals project has no benefit to Goa and hence must be rejected. Project proponents and Government officials are colluding to destroy Goa. GSPCB has intentionally fixed three separate Public Hearings in order to harass people of Vasco and beyond. EIA report of this project is fraudulent document. GSPCB should have assessed this report prior to Public Hearing. Cumulative EIA needs to be prepared rather than three separate EIAs.

Based on above grounds we strongly oppose proposed Terminal Capacity enhancement at berth 5A, 6A of Mormugao Port Trust by M/s South West Port Ltd, Mormugao- Harbour, Goa. However in spite of such a credible public objection if this project of JSW still gets EC from MoEF then it would be one more confirmation of corruption in MoEF as publicly alleged in press by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on 06/09/2012 that MoEF is a corrupt Ministry and grants EC clearances based on collection of bribes from corporate and turns blind eye to rampant illegalities in Goa.

Moreover Jindals project at MPT represents return of Peshwayee in India. We are in the 199th year of the destruction of Peshwayee in the battle of Bhima Koregaon at the outskirts of Pune. It is fitting that MoEF reject EC to JSW for this project.

Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,


Maggie Silveira
Goa Unit