Friday 18 March 2022

Stop purse seine fishing in Zuari now!

Bharat Mukti Morcha is deeply concerned about rising incidents of illegal purse seine fishing in Zuari river over the past week. It has been observed that this kind of destructive fishing going on with close co-ordinatiom with Directorate of Fisheries, Government of Goa. Purse seine fishing is banned in the rivers and within five kilometers from the shoreline due to their destructive impacts.

There has been complete and deliberate promotion of illegal fishing with collision of those engaging in illegal purse seine fishing from Nerul and Vasco with the Director of Fisheries Shamila Monteiro to destroy Zuari river fisheries and the livelihoods of small scale fishers. In fact Monteiro has gory reputation of supporting illegal fishing in Zuari river and was even chucked out of the office in 2017 for this reason by then Minister of Fisheries Palyenkar. Fisheries department was handled ably well by the IAS officers Govind Jaiswal, Secretary to the Fisheries.

Monteiro is bias against the small scale fishers for the reasons best known to her as evident from her tacit support to illegal purse seine fishing in Zuari over the past full week. Disgusting. Monteiro's competence lies in supporting illegal fishing in Zuari. It's shocking yet tragic reality.

Bharat Mukti Morcha holds Shamila Monteiro responsible for all the illegal purse seine fishing going on at Zuari river over the past week. She should be shifted out from Fisheries department as was done in 2017 and charge be given to some other able officer.

Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for complete revamping of Fisheries department with 24 hour Patroling of Zuari river in view of daily illegal purse seine fishing. Patrol boat should be stationed at Dona Paula Jetty rather than at Panjim Jetty for effecting quick response against fishing rights violators namely the purse seine fishing boats.

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns Police assault on Hanuman Parab

Calls for dismissal of the Police Officials involved in Pissurlem assault on Hanuman Parab

Bharat Mukti Morcha strongly condemns brutal assault against Hanuman Parab from Pissurlem at Valpoi Police Station for espousing the cause of reviving of village agriculture.

A week before the violent turn Pissurlem farmers had petitioned Goa Government to revive village agriculture in ravaged stage by mining industry. However due to State Government's non-response to enforce High Court Order farmers started the protest and stopped transportation of the iron Ore by Sesa Goa-Vadanta company.

Pissurlem was highest paddy growing village in Sattari producing abundance of rice and open cast iron Ore mining over the past some decades has ruined it all, dried all  water sources, pumped dust into lungs, destroyed something that was beautiful.

On March 11, 2022 at around 11.30 am - barely 24 hours after declaration of State Assembly results declaring vistory to Rane couple in Sattari's two seats- Police led by Police Inspector (PI) Prajyot Phadte arrived at the site of the protests at Dhatwada in  Pissurlem, bundled up the around 18 out of 78 protesting farmers, jumbled them into Police vehicles and drove to Valpoi Police Station in just 45 minutes.

At around 12.15 pm - like a baggage - Farmers were unloaded from the Police vehicles and herded inside Valpoi Police Station where Police Officer with rank of Deputy Superitendent of Police based in Bicholim was ready and awaiting the farmers to hostile reception without provisions in law. There was no presence of Divya Rane nor Viswajit Rane at the police station - the two elected MLAs- to support and voice out their outrageous against Police action. Why these MLAs don't support revival of Agriculture in Pissurlem?

The beastly partly began immediately with no more preparations needed. All that was required to push Hanuman to Passion was prepared. PI Prajyot Phadte joined DYSP Sagar Ekoskar with another three policemen and started bashing up Hanuman Parab. They slapped him, threw him on ground kicked him, abused him with filthy words. All this in full public view of the 17 arrested farmers from Pissurlem inside the premises of Valpoi Police Station. Police visualized Hanuman's physical body as football to be kicked by all men in Khaki in a beastly party. And kick, they did. Determined Hanuman at least for the sake of his mother, wife and son at home decided to defend himself and protect his head from Police boots. In the bargain he took Police blows on his hands and exposed ribs. The ingrained pain was enough to ground him home for next five days not even able to get up to file Police complaints. And where will he redress his grievances? Police Inspector and Deputy Superitendent of Police themselves came out as Triumphant criminals holding policing functions? It's ridiculous to the core.

With the declaration of election results passion of people in mining belt has resumed after a decade. DYSP, PI and other police officers did inflict these violent blows on Hanuman Parab to create fear amongst the farmers most of whom are Scheduled Tribes. Fear generation is backbone of governance in mining belt of Goa over the past half century and Police has been the most favored agency of the mining industry to create fear through terror in hearts and minds of affected people. It was done in Sirigao and Mayem in 1970s when farmers protested machinisation of mining industry that pushed digging below water table. It was done in Colomba, in Cavrem, in Advalpal and many other places in Goa.

In the current case of Pissurlem Sesa Goa, a subsidiary company of Vedanta that was feeling threatened with farmers agitation that blocked Ore transportation for just a few days.

Irrespective of who the beneficiary of violence is, we as a civilized society cannot let Police officers of any rank to transform into terror distributors and ring masters. That is not the reason why public tax money is used to pay the salaries of the Police officials. Terror distribution is opposite of normal Police functioning. All those Police officials who participated in beastly party to inflict violence on Hanuman Parab deserves to be dismissed from the service. Ring leader of terror administration DYSP Sagar Ekoskar has built up reputation for violence. We have not forgotten his role in Melaulim agitation in 2021 wherein he dared to step on the breasts of protesting elderly woman while he was then holding rank of Police Inspector. Goa Government instead of dismissing him from the police service awarded him the promotion to the rank of DYSP! We wonder what further promotion awaits to such a man with such heinous acts as we learned from meeting Hanuman Parab shortly after he survived the Police beastly party on his body at Valpoi Police Station. Hanuman's spirit of combat is intact and we support him wholeheartedly to counter catastrophic designs of mining industry.

Bharat Mukti Morcha, calls for immediate dismissal from the service of all the Police officials that administered violence on Hanuman Parab. Two are named above. Remaining officials identities needs to be traced and punished.

Further Bharat Mukti Mukti calls for Judicial investigation into Police assault on Hanuman Parab.

Further Bharat Mukti Morcha supports movements of Pissurlem farmers and all those connected with them in order to revive agriculture in the village.

Further Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for immediate implementation of High Court order to supply required quantity of water from mining pits to cultivate paddy fields and other water needs.

Further Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for physical takeover of all the Mines in Goa from private operators as mining leases expired in 2007 and no renewals are effected.

Further Bharat Mukti Morcha calls upon all the Political Parties operating in Goa to support farmers of Pissurlem in order to revive agriculture in the village.

Further realizing that the root of corrupt government administration in Goa being non-transparency, Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for inclusion of Political Parties within the scope of Right to Information Act through suitable amendment so that finding sources of Political Parties are made transparent and Politics is freed from mining mafia and cartel controls, and corporate greed as currently is the case.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

FOR URGENT ATTENTION: Agenda point no. 3.5 for 290th EAC meeting for March 10, 2022 regarding AHOY Marina inside Zuari river at Goa


190, Nauxim, Bambolim, Tiswadi, Goa. 403 206

March 08, 2022, 


The Chairman and all other Members of Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF&CC, Government of India

Sir/ Madam,

Hello and Warm Greetings of Peace from Goa!

It has come to our attention that proposal from Kargwal Construction Private Limited, Mumbai to set AHOY Marina at fishing predominant Zuari river of Goa by using nomenclature as "MPT WATERS" is listed for the 290th meeting to be held on March 10, 2022. 

It is in this regard that we make this timely intervention to let you know that each one of you are invited to visit us at Zuari river where we do our fishing activities. This will enhance your expertise before taking any further action to grant Terms of References to Kargwal Constructions Private Limited to move ahead with another EIA Study.

Kargwal Constructions Private Limited has already prepared EIA study and that was put out to hold Public Hearing through Goa State Pollution Control Board that did not take place and matter is pending before Goa Bench of Bombay High Court.

All Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union calls for scrapping of Marina project in Zuari river at Nauxim Goa on following grounds:

 1. Lease deed of Kargwal constructions private Limited and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) dated 12/10/2010 for approximately 1,00,000 square meters of water front of Zuari river for 30 years at the rate of Rs.4.87 per square meter per month is ill conceived from the beginning by vested interests to expel fishers from Zuari river and trigger food insecurity.

 2. The lease agreement doesn't even acknowledge existence of fishing activities in Zuari river even though its permitted by Goa Fisheries department.

 3. The lease agreement that is based upon the decisions of MPT that has ignored fishing activities in Zuari River as evident from their minutes. The sole criteria cited in the minutes to lease out Zuari River without consulting local traditional fishers is to generate incomes for MPT even if that requires expulsion of fishing activities.

4. The lease agreement that is based upon the Ports Land Policy prepared by the Union ministry of Shipping is based on unjust principles that ignore fishing activities in Zuari river.

5. The Union government wrongly claiming and asserting its Jurisdiction over Zuari river and bestowing powers to MPT through a gazette notification of May 24, 2000 was done in an unethical manner without consulting with communities who are involved in fishing inside Zuari river for time immemorial. The consequences of such a nefarious act are the expulsion of fishing communities from Zuari River. All notifications of Central government extending MPT jurisdictions over Zuari River must be immediately withdrawn to avoid expulsion of fishers from Zuari River.

6. The ecological dangers of Marina to marine ecology are officially placed on record by Goa Bio-diversity Board in case of neighboring Yatch Haven marina by Chowgules inside Zuari River on Sancoale river front. Same report are relevant to Nauxim Marina too.

7. Fishing communities are opposing marina at Nauxim based on their wisdom accumulated over the centuries. As per their understanding Marina project at Nauxim will destroy both human habitat at river coast as well fish habitats in Zuari River. Fisheries will suffer to an unimaginable extent.

8. The understanding of fishers that it will destroy fisheries is confirmed by the impact quantification calculations presented in the EIA report prepared for Nauxim marina and put out in public domain by Goa State Pollution Control Board.

9. The joint reading of Tables 5.2 and 5.9 of the AHOY Marina EIA reveals that Fisheries in Zuari River will have permanent negative impact of the nature that is major, long-term and irreversible. Fisheries can be destroyed in this manner only if marine environments are destroyed and the cited tables do indicate major long term negative impacts to marine environment. We do not desire this to happen to our Zuari river fisheries.

10. The laws and policies of India that provide powers to Ports overriding the existing fishing activities are based upon unethical foundations of injustice, inequality, impoverishment, livelihood destruction, damage to marine ecology and promoting food insecurity. These laws and policies needs to be done away with urgency.

11. AHOY Marina at Nauxim is combined assault on livelihood of fishing communities from several Coastal villages on Zuari river northern and southern bank and on food security of several people who are dependent upon fish as an ingredient of their food.

12. Ignoring all the above points on October 05, 2020 Kargwal Constructions private limited from Sion, Mumbai has filed Writ of Mandamus at the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court against State of Goa. Writ has called upon the Court to determine (a) whether Public Consultation is required as it is mandatory requirement by law, and (b) whether indefinite postponement of environmental public hearing in case of "Ahoy Marina" at Nauxim is unjust to the project proponent.

13. As the last 12 years of public struggle has ensured non-enforcement of marina at Nauxim it is now urgent that the project be scrapped totally by cancellation of the lease deed itself rather than put the issue languishing for further litigations causing tensions and unrest to the fishing communities of Goa.

The call of the fishing communities of Goa is complete abandonment of Marina project at Nauxim village and all the neighboring villages of Bambolim, Siridao, Agassaim, Cacra, Odxel, Marvel, Dona Paula, Caranzalem, Sancolale, Chicalim as well as Vasco municipal limits localities like Khariavaddo are going to face violations of the right of livelihood.

You are therefore called upon to act decisively on the above matter. We wish to let you know that installing of Marina at Nauxim water front is an open assault against livelihoods of fishing communities of Goa and we have resisted the same for dozen years. MPT/ MPA has not manufactured Zuari river to claim its Jurisdiction and to lease it to whimsically to anyone of their choice by ignoring fishing communities actively carrying on our livelihood practices. 

We therefore advise you to refrain from issuing any Terms of Reference to the Project proponents - Kargwal Constructions Private Limited to conduct any further EIA Study and outright reject their File no. 10-38/2016-IA.III coded as proposal no. IA/GA/NCP/257252/2022 that is listed on the agenda of the meeting at point 3.5.

From the begining AHOY Marina is death knell to fisheries of Goa and you are urged to heed to our call. Do contact us anytime for any further queries if required,  we will be eager to co-operate to get to AHOY Marina scrapped. 

Thank you all.

Yours sincerely,

Shaila D'mello

M: 9765843743

Laximan Mangueshkar,

M: 8888401385

Dr. S.A. Rodrigues
delegate to National Platform for Small Scale Fish Workers, representing All Goa Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Union.

M: 9923336347