Friday, 22 December 2017

Serious Objections to signing any MoU between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and MPT on 6 rivers in Goa


Date: 16th December 2017
To,

The Captain of Ports,
Government of Goa,
Panjim, Goa

Subject: Serious Objections to signing any Memorandum of Understanding between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) on development of 6 rivers in Goa declared fraudulently as National Waterways.

Sir,

Thank you for inviting Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM), Goa State for the Presentation on above subject held at Institute Menezes Braganza, Main Hall, Panjim on 11th December 2017. Our President Maggie Silveira participated and many of us were prevented from entering the venue by tight police security. We lodge our protest for the preventing participation of our several office bearers.
As you are well aware Bharat Mukti Morcha has already filed objections to your office on the above mentioned subject. However after our President Maggie Silveira participated in presentation we wish to re-iterate our objections with additional reasons as under:

1.      Threats to Fishing: We have studied the draft of MoU given to Mr. Churchill Alemao, Benaulim MLA by Manohar Parrikar, CM of Goa publicly at the above mentioned venue of MoU Presentation on above subject and believe that it is designed to the detriment of fishing activities in all the six rivers in Goa. We observed that even Inland Waterways has such provisions hostile to fishing as its Article 3 (XI) of draft MoU that states “Ensure unrestricted development and utilization of National Waterways by regulating the existing fishing activities carried through stake net fishing, barrier net, River gill, river cages and fishing by any registered gear. Views of local fishermen area shall however be taken into consideration before finalization of a site for development by COP and IWAI”. We are not satisfied with explanation of Govind Jaiswal, IAS who stated that Fishing rules of 1981 are much more dangerous to fishing activities than this article. BMM call upon Fisheries Minister Vinoda Paliencar as well as to move amendment to 1981 fisheries rules and make rivers of Goa safe for fishing activities by deleting provisions hostile to fishing with help of Govind Jaiswal, IAS who is Secretary Fisheries and Ports. We object Goa fishing rules of 1981 to be used to justify this draconian provision. In addition, Fishing cannot be localized as even though fishermen are locals, fish in rivers is not as rivers are connected to Arabian Sea, and so are the consumers of fish are beyond locality. We object to the plans to sign this MoU.

2.        Subversion of Democracy: National Waterways Act 2016 was passed unanimously in the Indian Parliament in March 2016 without consulting people of Goa. Goa’s MPs kept silent in Parliament according to eye witness account given by Goa CM Manohar Parrikar who was present in the Parliament in his capacity as India’s Defence Minister. The representative democracy has proved to be the colossal failure the way things have turned out on Goa’s six rivers declared as National Waterways as Political Parties are outside RTI jurisdictions and we do not know which vested interests funded ruling and opposition parties to pass this law unanimously without consulting people of Goa. BMM again objects to the inclusion of Goa’s rivers in the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016. BMM rejects Goa CM’s comments that he can do nothing about it to reverse the situation. Here are things that BMM advises CM Manohar Parrikar to do immediately:

a.      Write to the Prime Minister of India to delete Goa’s six rivers from the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.
b.      Write to Goa MPs in Parliament as all three of them belong to CM’s Political Party BJP to do all that is necessary to get Goa’s rivers deleted from the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.
c.       Pass legislation in Goa Legislative Assembly to exclude Goa’s six rivers form Schedule of the National Waterways Act 2016.

3.      Land Grab:  With all the Goa’s precious land adjacent to six rivers going to the Indian Shipping Ministry that control Inland Waterways Authority of India has automatically is under jurisdiction of Union Government besides declared portions of six rivers themselves.

4.      “Like Goa’s Liberation”: This is a statement Manohar Parrikar made to describe the situation Goa after inclusion of six rivers as National Waterways in 2016. BMM notes that Goa Liberation and India’s military action in Goa on December 17, 2017 was against European county of Portugal. Indian Government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru believed that Goa could be liberated from Portugal by such action. How does comparison fits here? From whom does Indian Government liberated Goa through National Waterways Act 2016? From Fishermen? From dwellers on coast banks of rivers? BMM want an answer from you on these questions.

5.      Liberation as Tragedy: What Goa CM has referred as Goa Liberation has in fact been great trigger to loose control over land in various insidious ways. Here we share a link to you on how people living in plains and mountains, Goa’s Scheduled Tribe People were cheated of their land and their liberation is yet to begin as bondage is a reality: http://theothermedia.in/downloadables/SAIP_Reports/SAIP_Mining_Series_1_Goa.pdf. And now in liberated Goa our rivers have been arbitrarily without any consultation has been transferred for control by Indian Shipping Ministry. This is completely ridiculous and we totally oppose inclusion of Goa’s six rivers in the Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.

6.      Liberation or Invasion of Goa? This is question is not settled as yet. What Manohar Parrikar called Liberation of Goa is referred to as Goa Invasion by UN Security council in its 988th meeting held on 18th December 1961 in New York from 8.45 pm onwards. Here is online link for your reference: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/PV.988. According to Goa CM National Waterways Act 2016 is like this event then this could also be termed as Goa’s second invasion.

7.      Goa Rivers fiasco is due to political failure of Indian representative democracry – the Legislature. It has to be corrected by Legislative Action. It cannot have administrative solution. Hence Secretary - Ports, Govind Jaiswal, IAS who did power point presentation at December 11, 2017 meeting under reference has no role in solving this issue.

8.      Responsibility of Captain of Ports: Major responsibility to get Goa’s rivers out of Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016 is of Captain of Ports. From the records posted at website of Inland Waterways Authority of India it is clear evidence that Government of India consulted Captain of Ports along with Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Goa Barge Owners Association as early as January 21, 2010 and reported in press next day. Here is the link for your reference: http://iwai.nic.in/showfile.php?lid=145. Now it is your office duty to convey the message of vast protesting people of Goa on opposition in Goa to the Indian Shipping Ministry.

9.      After mining tragedy we commit river tragedy? There is already huge environmental damage mining has inflicted on Goa. Mining silt has washed into
Goa’s rivers in such a large quantity that few islands have been formed and forest department has planted trees on them especially in Mandovi river. There are studies by scientists explaining in detail as o how mining has damaged Goa and also its various river tributaries. Its clear from the fact that IWAI has approached National Appraisal Committee as recorded in minutes of October 25-26, 2016 on behalf of 228 barges to carry on dredging of Mandovi. Here are the extracts of minutes for your reference:
http://bharatmukti.blogspot.in/2017/08/228-mining-barges-behind-tormenting-of.html.  So here we are in a situation where mining has ruined its land – plains and forests, paddy fields and water bodies, and now out on full fledged prowl to swallow Goa’s rivers. Enough is enough!

10.  Mining as a major polluting industry of Goa and find recorded in the first meeting of Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSCPB) on October 05, 1988. Role of mining barges in polluting Goa’s inland waterways too is very well noted. In fact minutes calls for education of the masses on the aspect of prevention of pollution. Here is online link to these minutes for your reference http://goaspcb.gov.in/Media/Default/Minutes%20of%20Board%20Meeting/1minutes.pdf.

11.  Mining has been historical enemy of Goa and continues to be so till date. Mining enmity is not restricted to assault on Goa’s ecology from its inception in early 1940 but extends in political sphere too. T.B.Cunha, the Father of Goan Nationalism in his article in Journal titled “Free Goa” wrote on July 25th 1958 as to how mining companies has been supporting Portugal Colonial rule to thrive in Goa. Here is his complete article online links: http://mandgoa.blogspot.in/2008/04/t-b-cunha-on-mining-trade-in-goa.html.

12.  Colonial mode of development: Wanagunui river too was used as “Highway” by white colonizers against the wishes of the indigenous people of that region – Maoris. They fought for nearly 140 years and this year 2017 March Crown acknowledged and apologized for the destruction caused in New Zealand through the Parliamentary legislation. Here is reference for your reference: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2017/0007/latest/096be8ed81520106.pdf. Do you want people of Goa to fight similarly and that long period of time? One needs to be really sadist to desire so. If that is the intention of Government of India, Government of Goa to please mining companies, Shipping companies and other vested interests then we will be left with no option but to fight like Maoris did in New Zealand over Whanganui River.

13.  Delay in decision to reverse the decision of Indian Government could lead to unpredictable consequences. People of Goa no longer want to be at the mercy of mining companies, coal companies, casino companies and Indian Shipping Ministry dictated terms to Goa’s rivers and people. Your office will be held responsible for ensuring consequences as your office negotiated with Indian Shipping Ministry to get them in Schedule of National Waterways Act 2016.

Kindly share this letter with all the MLAs, Ministers, Chief Minister and others that you invited for the December 11, 2017 presentation at Menezes Braganza Hall, Panjim as well as members of public protesting outside the Hall for denying entry inside for PPT Presentation on above subject. Also share this letter with Indian Shipping Ministry and IWAI along with MPT, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Goa Barge Owners Association. Make sure that you do not sign any MoU on Goa’s six rivers.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,



Maggie Silveira,
President, Goa State



Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra unit



Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim unit



Socorro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit



Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Curca Unit



Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Odxel Unit



Milind Palkar
Convener, Nauxi unit



Ms. Kalpana Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Siridao Unit



Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Honu Divkar,
Co-convener, Odxel Unit



Deu Kankonkar
Secretary, Nauxi Unit



Yeshwant Shirvoikar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit



Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener, Odxel unit



Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit



Francis Coelho,
Co-convener, Nauxim Unit



Ms. Jaya Kuttikar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Jonu Shirvoikar,
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Uttam Martins
Co-convenor, Cacra unit



Rohit Hadkonkar,
Co-convenor,  Bambolim unit


Sanju Diukar,
Co-convenor, Odxel unit



Chandranath Rosario,
Co-convenor, Cacra unit



Vijay Sawant,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit



Ragunath Sautodkar,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit



Ms. Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener, Cacra Unit



 Ashok Kukalkar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Ganashyam Diukar

Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Mahadev Andre Rosario
Co-convenor, Nauxim Unit

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Call to set up Fisheries Defence Study Cell at Directorate of Fisheries

Date: 14/12/2017
To,
The Minister of Fisheries,
Government of Goa,
Secretariate, Porvorim,
Goa



Subject: Call to set up Fisheries Defence Study Cell at Directorate of Fisheries


Sir,


We congratulate you for your firm and effective action in restoring law and order in  River Zuari. We also thank you for speaking out publicly in defence of traditional fishermen and stopping Trawlers and mini per seine boats from plundering Zuari River. We also thank all the staff of Fisheries department as well as OSD to your office Durgadas Kamat who worked as team to attain these results. We also thank Talegao MLA Jennifer Monsorrate as well Town and Country Planning Minister Vijay Sardessai for their supportive roles towards defence of River Zuari and fishing in it from 15/11/2017. We also appreciate Govind Jaiswal IAS for the way he has handled Fisheries Department specially dealing with response in action to all our complaints relating to Trawlers and mini per seine boats fishing in Zuari illegally as well as environmentally hostile manner.

After attaining splendid results from 29/11/2017 we were shocked to read media reports calling for your resignations as fisheries minister. We have taken note of your conversation with our Cacra Convenor Sanjay Perreira on the subject and had special meeting to disscuss the issues raised by few from All Goa Fishermen's Forum. We found merit in most of the points reported in newspapers (Lokmat and  Navhind Times) of 07/12/2017 but we have no competency to comment except in one issue.

Former Velim MLA Benjamin Silva who is also the President of Cutbona Fishermens Co-operative Society has accused you for speaking without studying. You also spoke vocally on our issues in Zuari about illegal trawlers and illegal mini per seine boats and therefore we find it our duty to intervene here to request you to apply your mind thoughtfully.

We noted that Fisheries department even though has staff of 203 people its orientation is restricted alrgely to Subsidies and Schemes. After our complaints enforcement orientation has come to the fore as important aspect along with ripples. The Fisheries department must now widen its orientation to include study aspect. BMM therefore requests you to set rolling orientation on Studies on Threats to Fishing activities. We attach here review of the book 'An unnatural history of  Sea' by Callum Roberts as our first contribution towards setting up Fisheries Defence Study Cell. You may order copy of the book for you personally or to your office from internet sources. You are requested to read and discuss this in groups, share it to organisations of fishermen, With Chief minister and other cabinet ministers and MLAs, ex-MLAs and public, holding study cum reflections sessions much more rigorously with wide publicity. It is very important to do this in the interest of defense of fisheries as well as fishermen in Goa.

The perspective outlined in the book is global threat to fisheries and initiation of discussions on this will be step forward after exhibition of fish variety and habitats from various parts of the World at the just concluded mega fish festival 2017 in Panjim organised by Fisheries department.

Hoping for your positive response in long term interest of defense of fisheries in Goa,

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,





Maggie Silveira,
President, Goa State


Sanjay Pereira
Convener, Cacra unit


Rohidas Andrade
Convener, Bambolim unit


Socorro Braganza
Convener, Siridao Unit




Anthony Cardozo
Convener, Curca Unit



Sitaram Pereira
Convener, Odxel Unit


Milind Palkar
Convener, Nauxi unit


Ms. Kalpana Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit


Chandrakant Lotlikar
Secretary, Siridao Unit

Hanuman Dias
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit


Honu Divkar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit


Deu Kankonkar
Secretary,Nauxi Unit


Yeshwant Shirvoikar,
Co-convener,Odxel Unit


Manguesh Sawant,
Co-convener, Odxel unit


Amir Mardolkar,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit


Francis Coelho,
Co-convener,Nauxim Unit


Ms. Jaya Kuttikar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit


Jonu Shirvoikar,
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit


Uttam Martins
Co-convenor, Cacra unit




Rohit Hadkonkar,
Co-convenor,  Bambolim unit


Sanju Diukar,
Co-convenor, Odxel unit


Chandranath Rosario,
Co-convenor, Cacra unit



Vijay Sawant,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit


Ragunath Sautodkar,
Co-convenor, Cacra Unit



Ms. Sheila D’mello,
Co-convener, Cacra Unit




Ashok Kukalkar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit


Ganashyam Diukar
Co-convenor, Odxel Unit



Mahadev Andre Rosario
Co-convenor, Nauxim Unit





Monday, 11 December 2017

Goa rivers declaration as National Waterways like Goa Liberation?

Its revolt to be fought for! Calling People of Goa to join!


Goa Liberation of 1961 and declaration of Goa's six rivers as National Waterways; do they have any similarity? Well really yes, according to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's response to Maggie Silveira, President of Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa Unit. They both are decisions are of Government of India, both taken without consulting people of Goa supposedly for the benefit of Goa. One taken by Congress government in 1961 and later by BJP government in 2016. Mr. Parrikar was speaking in a discussion after presentation of Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Government of Goa and Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) for development of 6 Waterways of National Importance in Goa referred as "National Waterways" on December 11, 2017.

Invitation for this meeting was sent out by Captain of Ports Capt. James Braganza to many people. Surprisingly when people turned up to attend but they were prevented by police from attending so they staged demonstration outside Menezes Braganza Hall. 

After the Power Point Presentation by Secretary Fisheries Govind Jaiswal discussions were initiated on declaring rivers as National Waterways. However when the discussion were found to be getting Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in embarrassing situations as he ran short of answers meeting was stopped. 

Here we share point of debate between Maggie Silveira, President, Bharat Mukti Morcha, Goa Unit  and Manohar Parrikar on declaration of Goa's rivers as National Waterways.

Maggie: Why did Indian Government passed National Waterways Act 2016 without taking people of Goa in confidence on March 26, 2016?

Parrikar: Government of India is not required to consult anyone before passing of laws. This law is passed in Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha unanimously. No member from Goa in Parliament objected to this law. I was present in the Parliament. Also it is not required that Indian Government consult any State Government before passing of this law I was not Chief Minister that time. 

Maggie: Then what is the use of democracy? People have the right to voice out.

Parrikar: Passing of this law relating to Goa is like Liberation of Goa. These questions were raised that time in post 1961. I support the idea because we are going to get funds for dredging of rivers.

Maggie: What Ravi Naik, ex-CM of Goa said on ways of raising funds I appreciate, central government can give grants to Goa Government for this purpose. There are other ways of raising funds rather than surrender our rivers to Central government.

Parrikar: I will appoint you as Advisor to Government of Goa on raising of finance. Simply some body has set Goa's rivers on fire. No where in India people are objecting to declaration of their rivers as National Waterways.

Maggie: I am not interested to be on your advisory Board. I have much better things to do. We have to protect our rivers, Casinos have polluted river Mandovi.

Parrikar: Are there Casinos in River Sal, it is also polluted.

Maggie: What government was doing as the river Sal was getting polluted?

Parrikar: That is a separate question from today's' theme of National Waterways MoUs.

Maggie: Don't include the six rivers as National Waterways.

Parrikar: They are already included and I can do nothing about it.

Maggie: Then see that MoU is not signed by Goa Government's Captain of Ports. We protest declaration of Goa six rivers as National Waterways.

Parrikar: Okay, I have noted your views.

Manohar Parrikar said that MPT is not involved in signing the MoU but the draft he gave to Churchill Alemao has MPT in it. And also the invitation to this meeting says so. One again Parrikar tried to confuse people.

MoU Parrikar said in response to Olencio's question are not superior to the law namely Inland Waterways Authority of India Act 1985 and National Waterways Act 2016.

There are few other people who questioned Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on various counts. Savio Correia, Olencio Simoes, Churchill Alemao, Ravi Naik publicly.

Govind Jaiswal, who is also Secretary (Ports/ fisheries) informed that fishing rules of 1981 are more dangerous and restrictive to fishing than MoUs provisions. Manohar Parrikar repeated the same again.

Then suddenly Secretary Fisheries Govind Jaiswal declared meeting stopped without thanking anyone. Then people raised alarm to continue but Captain of Ports said that without government authority meeting cannot be continued. He perhaps forgot that he himself was an authority and had invited the people sending letters. 

The over all speaking was done by Manohar Parrikar. The Captain of Ports who technically knows every detail was not allowed to speak in spite of people's demand. The mike was taken away from Captain of Ports by Manohar Parrikar. 

People from all over Goa gathered outside the Menezes Braganza Hall as Our Rivers Our Rights (OROR) and protested against inclusion of Goa's six rivers as National Waterways. Tight police security was kept to protect the Chief Minister. We fail to understand as to why Chief Minister Parrikar is feeling so insecure in Goa that he needs such as heavy Police Bandobast for his protection, or is it to show off?

Goenchea Ramponkaracho Ekvott and Green Brigade were also present and participated inside Menezes Braganza Hall confronting Chief Minister on fate of Goa's rivers. 

Few key points that did not figure in the discussions:

1. Who are the people who convinced the government of India to include Goa's rivers as National Waterways. Its Goa mining industry and Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry. See links here. Manohar Parrikar tried to full people by saying somethings distractive like passenger transport.

2. Mining industry and their barges are polluting Goa's rivers and deserve special attention of GSPCB. Minutes call for education of masses on these aspects. Check the minutes of first meeting of Goa State Pollution Control Board held on 05/10/1988. Click here.

3. Constitution of India makes it Fundamental duty of every citizen to protect rivers. Click here. Goa's rivers as National Waterways is an anti national action.

4. For more documents for study click here.