Sunday 2 April 2023

Caurem-Pirla Panchayat Gram Sabha red flag to diversion of village Forest land for mining purpose

he gram sabha of village panchayat Caurem - Pirla today on 02.04.2023 passed an unanimous resolution to oppose any kind of diversion of forest land at Survey No. 19 of Caurem village. The resolution reads as follows.


‘The gram sabha of Village Panchayat resolves that there shall be no diversion of forest land at Sy. No. 19/0, Cavorem village, Quepem Taluka for mining or any other industrial purpose considering its ecological, cultural, religious importance and livelihood of the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional dwellers of Caurem village, who have filed their claims under Forest Rights Act, 2006 on the said land and are enjoying rights as enshrined under sub section 1 of Section 3 of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.’


The said resolution shall be communicated to

1) Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, New Delhi,

2) Ministry of Tribal affairs, New Delhi,

3) Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Panaji Goa

4) The Chief Secretary and Chairperson of State Level Monitoring Committee under FRA, Govt of Goa, and

5) District Collector, South Goa


The above resolution was proposed by Shri. Surendra Velip was seconded by Shri. Sameer Gaonkar.


The villagers present for the gram sabha meeting in large numbers to oppose the proposed forest diversion of 70.20 hectares for the mining Lease bearing No. M.L.3/FeMn/79 - Zamblidadga Iron & Manganese Ore Mine, at Sy.No. 19/0 of Caurem village whose public hearing is scheduled to be held on 11.04.2023 at Maina.


The tribal villagers of Caurem who are mostly farmers and forest dwellers have their cultivation on the mountain of Sy.No. 19/0 and collect minor forest produce from the said forest land. The gram sabha members also raised serious concern about their tribal deities 'Bhageli Paik' and 'Galla Naas' who are Rakhandars or protectors, who live on this mountain if the said diversion is allowed. The members further raised concern over the seven perennial springs that originate from the bottom of this mountain.


The members also brought to the notice of the gram sabha through a report prepared by the elderly villagers, Committee's decision of Forest Rights Committee and Rule 4 (1) (e) committee constituted under FRA rules, that there are 149 Individual claims and one 'Community forest resource & rights claim' pending for settlement. The report also highlighted the ecological, cultural and religious importance of this mountain towards the existence of Caurem village. The gram sabha then discussed the restriction imposed by the Ministry of Tribal affairs and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change for the diversion of forest land where there are such religious and forest rights claims.


MLA of Sanguem and Minister Shri. Subhash Phal Dessai who was also present for the meeting supported the gram sabha members in opposing the proposed diversion of forest land.


The Gram sabha was chaired by Smt. Vidhi Vinod Velip and Dy. Sarpanch Dattesh Gaonkar along with Panchayat members Ulhas Gaonkar, Sangeeta Velip, Dilip Dessai, Madhuri Mainkar were present.


Ex- Panchayat member Shri. Ravindra Velip, Nilesh Gaonkar and Chairman of Goa State Co-operative Bank - Shri. Ulhas Phaldessai also shared their views.


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