Friday 1 March 2019

Objections to Marinas in Zuari river filed before Collector of North Goa

Date: 01/03/2019
The Collector (North Goa),
Panjim, Goa
Subject: Objections to Marinas in Zuari river
Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to our attention though media reports that Goa State Pollution Control Board has approached your office to initiate process for Public Hearing for installing marina in Zuari river off coast of Nauxi village in Tiswadi.

We write this let you know that we continue to oppose both the marina projects in Zuari river not only because it will adversely affect fishing communities engaged in fishing activities but also because of the undemocratic process of leasing out of River Zuari followed by Marmagoa Port Trust (MPT). Without consulting fisher people dependent on Zuari river MPT leased out 2,00,000 square meters of Zuari river bed for two marinas within 3 days (12-14, October, 2010) for 30 years each.

While the two lease deeds took enough precautions to protect mining barge traffic in Zuari the same precautions are not taken for fishing activities in Zuari river. In fact lease deeds makes it clear that setting up of marina will require large scale dredging of river which will surely result in destruction of Zuari river fisheries.

MPT carried on these lease deeds by virtue of the Central government notification of May 24, 2000 that asserts Jurisdiction of MPT up to Cortalim bridge. MPT is controlled by Union Ministry of Shipping. This notification too was issued without consulting fishing communities connected to Zuari river.

If process for marina project is initiated by holding public hearing then it will symbolize Union Shipping Ministry’s commitment to destroy Zuari river fisheries. Already there is lots of misery spread out to Vasco residents due to MPT’s handling of Coal resulting in dredging of Arabian Sea as well as Coal dust pollution. With marina in Zuari this misery will enter Zuari river and it will destroy fisher community’s livelihoods as well as ecology resulting in Port-led Poverty.

We also wish to convey to you that Central Government 2019 notification relating to CRZ has already set in unrest amongst fishing communities in the State of Goa and installation of marinas will only facilitate further escalation of tension.

The sizable affected people on Zuari river bank are also Scheduled Tribes whose livelihoods were destroyed due to setting up of various projects in the past resulting in no benefit to the community. Few of these projects include Goa University, Goa Medical College, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa International Centre etc. This development forced these people to take up fishing. Marina spells doom to the livelihood of these People. Should one more project of be imposed at Nauxim sacrificing adivasis for prosperity of few rich Yacht owning tourists and five star hotels like Hotel Grand Hyatt and Cidade de Goa that are located on Zuari river bank? Amongst adivasis there is already nation wide unrest is underway due to eviction threats of those living in forest landscapes. Central Government has failed to depute lawyers to defend government law protecting Tribal People and Other Forest Dwellers in India. This has already affected 23 lakh people all over India. Marinas too are destined to provoke eviction of river bank tribal people in Nauxim-Cacra villages.
People on Zuari river banks are insecure as river has been declared as National Waterway 111 as Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has assertive control over riparian areas. In this context Installation of Marinas in Zuari has been viewed as frontal attacks on the livelihood of people particularly dependent upon fishing.

Kindly convey our objection to marinas in Zuari to the State and Central Government.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,
Maggie Silveira,
Goa Unit

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