Monday 28 August 2017

Porta de Capao a gate way to resolute resistence against Ozone take over of Vanxim

From the office of the Goa Archbishop to the office of the Deputy Collector in Panjim, Bangalore based company Ozone Propex Private Limited is on its way to becoming East India Company to Vanxim in Mandovi river with entrance at Old Goa. It has created a complex network of support corporate to take over Vanxim with integral links with banks, venture capital, mortgage loans etc. Here Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM) has dissections of key links for the sake of public clarity. 

1. Agreement to sale of Vanxim was signed between Mahendra Gaunekar and Fr. Victor C. Rodrigues (on behalf of Archbishop Raul Gonsalves on 09/04/1999. Click here. Agreement concealed address of the Mahendra Gaunekar. If needed Archbishop would sell the land directly to the corporate recommended by Mahendra Gaunekar.

2. In 1995 late Ligorio Silveira filed complaint regarding breach of Vanxim bunds due to corruption in Tenant Association of Vanxim. Click here. Till date government has not attended to this.

3. Fr. Arlino D'mello, on behalf of Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao sold Vanxim to Mahendra Gaunekar in 2006. What was started by Archbishop Raul Gonsalves was completed by Archbishop Neri; both acted in secrecy. Claims of NOC from Vanxim Tenants Association are still unsubstantiated.

4. In 2016 January office of Goa Archbishop made it public that it favoured corporate and created hurdles to grants rights to tenants from 1995. Click here.

5.  Mahendra Gaunekar got into eight more sale deeds between 2006 and 2008 to buy off paddy fields of Vanxim. Click here.

6. In 2009 Joint Development Agreement signed between Mahendra Gaunekar and his wife Sonali with various concerns of Ozone corporate. Its recorded that after selling paddy fields Archbishop will facilitate take over of residential areas in Vanxim all together 180 acres. Click here. This process has started. Legal relationship of lease from Santa Monica is forced to be cancelled and new relationship of sale at high economic cost is pushed through on many. Corporate Ozone will decide affairs of Vanxim. In other words Vanxim will function as SEZ.

7. In 2010 vanxim scam came to light as some people were called to sign papers at Bicholim Mamlatdar's office and offered cash. Revolt begins.

8. People began to receive letters from Deputy Collector at Panjim as Mahendra Gaunekar filed for negative declarations to change land records. Fr. Victor Rodrigues facilitated this process with his notorious letter. Click here. Number of people were dragged to court into litigation. Forced to pay lawyers. Those who compromised corporate paid up lawyers fees.

9. Around 2010 Ozone took over one abandoned hotel on Mandovi baks at Old Goa near North Goa MP Shripad Naik residence (and least bothered about Vanxim food insecutity due to paddy fields submergence) and designed it as "Porta de Capao", this is in Portuguese which means "Starting Point of Capao". It is designed for super rich of the world. Click here.

10. On June 08, 2017 this hotel construction got sanction of 15 crore loan recommendation from ICRA. The documents terms OLRPL as a special purpose vehicle (SVP) of Ozone group. OLRPL stands for Ozone Leisure and Resorts Private Limited that plans to develop a large scale luxury villa-cum-resort project on Vanxim isalnd. OLRPL is 100% held by Ozone Propex Private Limited. It has tie up with Hyatt group in Bangalore and Coorg hotels. Vasudevan Sathyamoorthy is its Chairman. Click here.

11. Directors of Ozone Propex Private Limited are Rajeev Bhandari, Vasudevan Sathyamoorthy, Chandanmal Pukhraj Bothra, Bittal Mangilal Singhi and Ozone Propex Private Limited's Corporate Identification Number is (CIN) U74210KA2004PTC035015 and its registration number is 35015.Its Email address is and its registered address is No.38,Ulsoor Road Bangalore 560042 Bangalore KA 560042 I. Click here.  

12. This Ozone Propex from Bangalore has set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Ozone Leisure and Resorts Private Limited (OLRPL) and are located in Campal, Panjim and press refers them as Goa based company. They have kept their Bangalore parental connections hidden. Click here. OLRPL has listed two companies as their partners namely HDFC Property Fund, and Urban Infrastructure Opportunities Fund.

13. HDFC Property Fund is 100% subsidiary of HDFC Ltd. Click here.

14. HDFC Ltd's stands for Housing and Development Finance Corporation Limited. It has 11 Board of directors with Deepak S. Parekh as Chairman, Keki M. Mistry as Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Click here

15. HDFC Ltd also have HDFC Bank with 12 board of directors. Click here.  

16. The Second Partner of OLRPL is Urban Infrastructure Opportunities Fund. Synopsis of this fund reveals names of its prominent investors as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), State Bank of India, ICICI and Axis Bank. They have 4 board of directors: Anand Jain - Chairman, Parag Parekh, MD and CEO, P Krishnamurthy and SS Thakur are Directors. Click here

17.  Anand Jain is deeply involved with Reliance and SEZs in various parts of India. Click here. He is a Chairman of Navi Mumbai SEZ Pvt Ltd, Mumbai SEZ Ltd., Reliance Haryana SEZ Ltd. He is the Promoter of two large SEZs near Mumbai. Mr. Jain, ex-trustee of the Mumbai Port Trust and JNPT is also a Director in Rewas Port Limited, a Greenfield US $1.3 billion mega scale port development project near Mumbai. The port would serve as a primary gateway for the twin mega SEZs coming up in its vicinity. He was also the Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Mumbai.

18. Parag Parekh is on board of directors of navi Mumbai SEZ. Click here

19. P. Krishnamurthy is too follows the same path. He is a Director on the Board of Navi Mumbai SEZ Ltd. as well as Mumbai SEZ Ltd. Click here.  

With this status of Vanxim, the way of resistance is clear. Fr. Bismarque Dias fought before he was murdered. We carry on the fight, march ahead. Jai Mulnivasi!

Greedy trawlers plunder Zuari river

Reports have poured in about 25 illegal trawlers in Zuari river carrying on illegal fishing from 9.00 am today 28/08/2017. Trawlers are banned by law from carrying on illegal fishing within 5 kms from the coast. Yet with the death of Mathany Saldanha trawlers has regularly breached this limit. 

This has resulted in increased loss of trust in the Goa State's Department of Fisheries who comes across publicly shielding violating trawlers by refraining any action and refusing to station patrolling boat in Zuari river in spite of repeated requests. 

There is directive from Fisheries department against carrying illegal trawler fishing. Click here.

One aspect is clear : Goa Government cares a hoot for Goa's rivers and fishermen, cares a hoot for sustainability and health of Rivers in Goa.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Groups across Goa condemn MoEF move on NGT

21st August 2017

This is to strongly condemn the Ministry of Environment and Forest and government of Goa for attempting to deny Goans access to justice by transforming NGT jurisdiction over Goa from Pune to Delhi. By a recent MOEF notification dated 10th August, Goa has been singled out as the only State in the country whose residents need to go far away to Delhi for Environmental justice, while the residents of other parts of the country are provided access at t he closest place possible.

We represent over 37 organizations from across Goa that came together yesterday to deliberate upon the shocking act of MOEF and to decide a course of action to obtain speedy relief to all Goans. We find that the present Government is progressively taking away all the rights of Goa as a State and that we are  increasingly being treated as a colony of Delhi. Though our Prime Minister spoke about “co-operative federalism” in his Independence Day speech a few days ago, this discriminatory action of MOEF shows the reality to be quite the opposite -  that Goa is treated as a foreign colony by our Government.

Goa is facing unprecedented and unparalleled destruction of Environment and displacement of local communities. As a result, Goa has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of cases before the NGT as compared with other states. Common Goans are forced to go to NGT  to defend their villages and future generations, flooding NGT Pune with matters from Goa. As demonstrated by NGT orders in various matters such as illegal dredging by MPT, the State and Union Government are hand-in-gloves with the private interests destroying Goa and her environment for short term greed. NGT, Pune is now become the last resort of Goans in their struggles to defend their lands and communities. However, the MOEF and Goa Governments have shown malafide intention to deny access to the NGT, since ordinary Goans cannot afford the cost or the time needed to approach NGT, Delhi.

The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay at Goa has taken sou moto cognisance of the MOEF Notification this morning and stayed its operation till 5th September 2017, and we thank the Hon’ble Court profusely for this interim relief. However, the threat to the people from the Government’s malafide intentions must see reason and not only restore the jurisdiction of Pune bench of the NGT over Goan matters, but also correct their attitude towards the people, the environment and the future generations, failing which the people will be forced to remain in a state of war against the destructive forces unleashed upon us.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

West is North! India loose sense of direction!

"It shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the Natural Environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for all living creatures."
           - The Constitution of India Article 51-A(g)

 Fulfillment of Fundamental Duty

In order to pursue the fulfillment of ones fundamental duty to protect natural environment People of Goa Petitioned National Green Tribunal in Pune. Several disastrous corporate projects were halted at NGT: Tiracol, Siolim Jetty on Chapora River, MPT deadly dredging of Arabian Sea and several more instances.

Corporate chocked up. Money fueled into the coffers of BJP and other Parties were finding unjustifiable in the face of repeated whips from NGT Pune.

Finally bell rang on on the feast of St. Lawrence, Goa roasted on slow burning fire! Goa jurisdiction moved from Pune to Delhi on August 10, 2017 and notified the next day August 11, 2017.

Rise of anti-colonial movement

With a flicker of this decision Goa environment movement stands transformed into anti-colonial movement. Now Goa is a Colony of Delhi - the Capital of India. And Government of India transformed itself from Nationalist to Anti-nationalist government. Protection of natural environment that includes Forests, rivers, lakes, wildlife is a constitutional duty of every citizen. Suddenly this has been challenged with shift in NGT jurisdiction. Indian government instead of making it easier for Public to exercise their constitutional duty has imposed hurdles of geography around their neck. We don't know the exact reason but know the consequences: Chocking Goa to undignified death.

Indian State and the State in Goa has turned tyrannous and democracy is fast evaporating into skies. Ground stands barricaded.

Northern lust

Central government has already taken our rivers and put them under jurisdiction of Inland Waterways Authority of India that is again located in North India at Gurgaon. Noose around Goa People already tightened up due to invasive Aadhaar Card even though most have not even realized. 

Central Government is suffering from crisis of direction. It is unable to distinguish between North and West. So the writing on the wall is clear. One who does not have sense of direction is bound to bang his head on the wall! Central Government status today is somewhat like this. We wonder from where Indian government got this idea to treat Goa as private estate brought as dowry by 16th wife of fancy King?

Goa Invasion

This decision, if not revoked can have very disastrous consequences. In 1961 India invaded Goa and sustained with the Veto from USSR. Pri. Chico Montiero and Kid Boxer raised their voices (and paid price with their liberty) and were arrested tried and sentenced to prison. Pri. Monteiro to Chandigarh jail and Kid Boxer to Nasik Jail. They were then termed anti-nationals and their legacy suppressed. Now if Indian government continues this trend then both of them may well gain in stature as the Freedom Fighters against Indian Imperialism in Goa. In fact Voices are increasing in Goa that 1961 was not a liberation of Goa but an invasion by India. Latest voice is of Jerry Cal's song sung by Olga in Album "Ugdas M Boyeracho". The arrogant behavior of India towards Goa will only be an appetizer to the rise of Kid Boxer and Pri. Chico Mendes from their graves. Kid Boxer's famous verse against Indian Invasion is still cited by those who witnessed his arrest in Mapusa during Tiatr : "tum bhitor sorlai chukon, mottoloi sukonn; durreacho desh pochonam!"

Strange but true: Goa is under Indian invasion. and India is under bamani invasion. Therefore Goa is under Bamani invasion too. Even though we admit it privately and speak of it in whispers, its reality that challenges Goa today : Layers of invasions on our Geography and our Psyche. urgent combat needed.

MoEF corrupt

Manohar Parrikar publicly declared few years ago that corruption in Ministry of Environment and Forest is rampant and their officials are known to collect money bags from mining companies in exchange for granting of Environmental Clearances. It is likely that huge money bags has crossed into MoEF officials and proved Manohar Parrikar correct. Here is link to Manohar Parrikar's confident assertion on corruption in MoEF. 

CBI probe on the process followed in this West to North India episode of Goa will be helpful.In the meanwhile Goa Bench of Bombay High Court has stayed MoEF descision till September 05, 2017 when the matter will come up for the hearing.

Greed takes over fishing in Zuari

Reports reaching from Siridao-Cacra coast indicate that there is complete failure of Fisheries department mechanism to check illegal fishing in Zuari. Daily basis over the past five days there are around 20 trawlers and around 50 mini per seine boats fishing very close to the coast. Both these are banned to carry on fishing withing five kilometers of the coast. Here is a letter from Fisheries department to trawlers. Click here for links. Similarly here is the Fisheries department letter to the mini per seine boats on illegal fishing. Click here for links.

Greed has taken over fishing practices and sustainability has flown out of window. Traditional fishermen are at the receiving end of this aggression. These fishermen are located in Siridao, Bambolim, Nauxim, Cacra, Odxel, Dona Paula, Caranzalem etc.

Trawlers daily enter Zuari at around 4.00 pm and carry on disastrous fishing scrapping river bed till late at 11.00 pm night very close to Cacra to Siridao shores.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Maps connected with declaration of Goa's rivers as National Waterways and proposed Jetties

Maps taken from "Our Rivers Our Rights" group.

Traditional Fishermen under attack in Zuari, nets torn by marauding mini per seine boats

In a fresh incident of illegal fishing through mini per seine Zuari today morning around 60 mini- per seine boats not only carried on illegal fishing in Zuari but also torn off fishing nets of fishermen from Cacra coast. Fisheries department has issued standing instruction against mini- per seining fishing within 5 km from the shore and banned from fishing in Zuari river. Click here for the document.

Sanjay Pereira's fishing nets were torn apart today morning. Fisheries department even though is aware of the habitual illegalities in Zuari sent their Patrol boat only at 11.00 am to the venue of illegalities when all the boats had gone away. It is not clear but certainly a matter of easy guess as to why Fisheries department is not ready to crack down on this illegal fishing.

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns fresh violence in Zuari river and calls upon Department of Fisheries to station its patrol boat permanently in Zuari river so as to avoid these kinds of confrontations.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Latest fishing rights violations in Zuari river

Today on August 10, 2017 there were 35 mini-per seine boats carrying on illegal fishing in Zuari from morning 6.00 am to 10.00 am. Yesterday on August 09, 2017 this number of mini per seine was 40 and on August 08, 2017 it was 25. 

Fisheries department of Goa Government has been found tolerant towards illegal fishing. Earlier on July 29, 2017 when fishing ban was still enforced 10 mini - per seine fishing boats carried on fishing in Zuari river from 3.00 pm to 5.45 pm.

Report as per information received from Cacra coast fishermen.

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Essential documents regarding Nationalization of Goa's rivers

Here is a list of essential documents to understand nationalization of Goa's rivers:

1. Short background note. click here

2. Expert Appraisal Committee minutes where 228 barges are mentioned behind nationalized Mandovi, Zuari and Cumbharjua canal dredging. Click here

3. Basic law - The Inland Waterways Authority of India Act 1985. Click here

4. Basic Law - The National Waterways Act 2016 by which Goa's rivers are declared as National Waterways. Click here

5. The damage that the State of India is doing by Nationalizing Goa's rivers is similar to what the State of New Zealand did to Maoris from 1840 onward.  Crown apologized after acknowledging the damage done. After fighting for 140 years New Zealand passed law - Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017. Specially read up Part 3, Sections 69 to 70 on pages 44 to 49. Click here

6. Press Statement from "Our Rivers Our Rights". Click here

7. In 1961 India annexed Goa through conquest. The way Indian state plans savage attacks on Goa's attacks could even put Russians to shame. Time has come to question Russia for supporting Conquest of Goa by exercise of Veto power in security council. Click here.

8. Protection of rivers is a Fundamental duty of Every citizen of India under Article 51-A (g). Click here for copy of the Constitution of India. 

9. Important Maps of rivers and planned projects. Click here.

10. More documents available at Goa Data Center. Click here.

Monday 7 August 2017

228 Mining barges behind Nationalization of Mandovi, Zuari and Cumbharjua rivers

It was mining barges that got involved Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) in Goa in 2010. Click here for background links. Now it is in the interest of mining barges that Goa's six intra-state rivers were decalred as National Waterways in March 2016 unilaterally without public consultations in Goa. Mining barges then applied their minds for the digging Goa's rivers. IWAI has been championing the cause of mining barges faithfully and has applied for the permision to dredge Mandovi, Zuari and Cumbharjua canal. The application came up for the discussion at the 10th meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee and recorded in its meeting minutes dated 24th October 2016. A fleet of at least 228 barges are all set to torment Goa like never before. Mining is already a history sheeter in Goa and proved capacity for mass ecological havoc and proved in several studies including Shah Commision appointed by Central Government. Expert Appraisal committee has given its consent with several conditions including carrying on of various studies of these three rivers and holding of Public Hearings. With gratitude to Adv. O. Stanley of Our Rivers, Our Rights (OROR) we share here the copy of Expert Appraisal Committee minutes for public information and debate.

Tuesday 1 August 2017

National Waterways - a death warrant for Goa and Goans?

‘Our Rivers Our Rights’ is a gathering of local residents concerned with about the plans to change rivers of Goa to national waterways of India. 

Goa has been developed and shaped by the knowledge and hard work of our indigenous communities, who have laboured for centuries to create rivers, khazans, paddy fields, lakes and bunds out of the sea and backwaters. Our rivers are the inalienable properties of our village communities and continue to sustain lakhs of Goans even today. Fut’tani, pagels, ogors, manxio, kobule, lambaris, etc are used extensively by thousands of river side fisher folk people to sustain Goan economy and culture. An even larger number of Goans are dependent on the paddy fields along the sides of our rivers for their survival and sustenance. These rivers are not only the lifeline of Goan communities, but are also completely owned, managed and protected by local communities. 

The Union Government is now trying to usurp the rivers from the local communities as ‘national waterways’ for ‘navigation and shipping’. It is also talking about constructing jetties, building concrete walls and creating storage and staging spaces on the banks and paddy fields. However, the local communities that own and manage these rivers are neither informed nor consulted, in gross violation of our Constitution. The Chief Minister cannot dismiss the issue by stating that it is an act of Parliament. Goa Government has given its ‘consent’ to the acquisition of our rivers without protest, while keeping us in the dark. How can our elected leaders betray us and our State so completely? What are the reasons for the secrecy and refusal to consult us in accordance with the law ?

It is clear that the proposal to make our rivers ‘national waterways’ is not only unconstitutional, but will extinguish the rights of lakhs of Goans dependent on these rivers for their livelihoods, or survival. Any attempt to ‘improve shipping’ will displace the local communities at an unprecedented scale. Our Constitution also requires that any acquisition of rights by the State must be preceded by public consultation and hearing the affected persons. Therefore, all the steps taken by the Union and State Governments to secretly usurp the rights of the local residents and acquire our rivers are unconstitutional and illegal. 

We demand that all the steps taken till date to acquire our rivers as national waterways be scrapped, and that the existing ownership, rights and dependence of local communities be first acknowledged by our Governments. We demand that the Goa Government immediately convey to the Central Government the demand for scrapping the six river stretches of Goa from the Schedule to The National Waterways Act, 2016.We also demand that if the Governments have any plans to change the status quo with regard tos our rivers, they must first inform and consult the local communities, as required by the law and Public Interest.

Adv. Ohm Stanley (9657651796)