Friday, November 23, 2007

Fomento Mining continues ravaging Sanguem Forest

In Goa there is begining of international film Festival as well as begining of hunger strike protests against Special Economic Zones (SEZs). But mining companies continues their ugly devastating trades in the deep interiors veins of Goa Causing unimaginable long term destruction of forests and people's livelihood options.
Sanguem forest continues to be at the receiving end from Fomento mining at Colamb with an hurry to export ore to China amidst tight private security. In a latest move of the company over the past five days the company is involved with daring encroachments of forest area, infact buring the forest alive once again.
This time the company that owns five star hotel Cidade de Goa have dugged huge hole to the ground and after cutting forest trees are dumped inside the hole and covered with mud.

Mining officials are clearly sitting with closed ears and closed eyes pretending they know nothing. Their office phones rings but no one wants to pick up the call to answer as thier stomachs are understandably full of notes from mining companies, after all whoses forest is it any way! Mining has such a power over earth and the life on it.

The pristine forest of Sanguem and in Colamb is soon going to a history to be read by school children of the future.

Mining companies are leaving no stone unturn - including the boundary stones to pursue and obey the rules of the market and capital. Children of the future will read in thier text book 'Once upon a time Goa was green, and minng companies like Timblos, Dempos, Chowgules, Salgaoncars and many others turned it red.'

Hurry up go and have a look at Colamb, Sanguem while still some greenery remain, as it will dissapear within next few months if major rivolt does not come about.

Sky is the limit for the mining greed. The exploitation will continue till last mineral ore is cracked under the soil and sold to the foreign countries like China and Foreign exchange is earned by the Union of India and all the agrarial livihood options will be dissolved under in mining dust.

It is time, indeed oppportune time to further intesnsify movements against mining that are underway in Goa. People in Colamb are fighting, People in Rivona are fighting, People in Usgao are fighting, People in Sarvan are fighting, People in Amona-Naveli are fighting, People in Panchwadi are fighting. At last people all over are awakening. MAND experiences the rythm of Protest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Police terror in Colamb, Sanguem

According to just received information from Colamb, Sanguem, Goa, today on November 20 2007 Goa Police attached to Quepem Police station have began terrorising the villagers. A group of 8 Policemen came in plain clothes at 6 pm and began threatening the villagers. They were searching Agnelo D'Souza, one of the villagers in forefront of protest against mining threatening to gobble up Colamb village. He had protested overvhelmingly during Novemeber 18 2007 gram Sabha of the Rivona village panchayat and sought resulation seeking to ban further mining activity in Colamb. Villagers led by Milagrine Antao led the confrontation today against the police.

Police are behaving in this manner to further the interest of the mining companies. This is a latest offensive against the Adivasi community of Goa by State Police forces to protect the interests of the private mining companies.

Here is a report filed by John Fernanandes on the proceedings of the Gram Sabha of November 18 2007:

The opposition to mining activity in Colomba and Rivona Village of Sanguem/Quepem is going on stronger and stronger as in the regular gram sabha held today the villagers unanimously passed a resolution opposing any mine on the hillock Bargally under survey No.165,64 and 63 of colomba village, new mine in any part of Rivona village or reviving the work in those mines which are already abandon.

At the time of passing the resolution there was an exchange of words from the group supporting the mining activity and those opposing the mining activity. As the group supporting the mining activity seems to be in minority. Anticipating that the resolution opposing new mining activity will be passed, the group supporting mining activity went out of the hall, that to no before exchanging word and abusing each other which continued outside the hall.
Meantime somebody informed the Quepem police, police immediately rushed to the site. If police would have not reached both group would have clashed with each other.

It may be recalled there was a move to start a new mine on the hillock Bargalle situated at Colomba in which a Cabinet minister from the Digamber Kamat government is also involved. That on the said hillock where the new mine is proposed there is a Chapel dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, a crematorium and a cemetery, surrounding of which there are residential houses and paddy fields . At a distance of around 300 mts there is also a Government high school and a primary school. Recently the villagers held a meeting opposing the mining activity on the Bargally Hillock.

Later addressing the gram sabha the Sarpanch Smt. Mansi Naik assured the villagers that she is with the villagers in opposing the mining activity in the village.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Santa Cruz Panchayat serves notice of demolition to Builders

Today on Novemeber 15, 2007 Santa Cruz Panchayat served notice of demolition to the builders who yesterday had constructed gate on the road connecting Cacra to Nauxi villages in Tiswadi Goa. The local member of Panchayat along with the Cacra Nagrik Vikas Samiti (CNVS) moved into action and pressurised the Santa Cruz Panchayat to act tough with the builders. The builders are given seven days notice under section 66 of Goa Panchayat Raj Act 1993.

Yesterday at around 12 noon group of 20 goons came to the village and errected metal gate on the road passing via Zuari Coast - within 2 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL). The most shameful things of this saga is that the goons hired for this 'job' are all from the surrounding villages and they had taken contract to construct the gate from the builders. Panchayat notice is addressed to one Savio who is believed to be active persons if not the 'owner' of the Cacra commuinty lands. It may be noted that the land at this prime location is targetted by number of builders and Real Estate agents. The case of 'Aldeia de Goa' taking over around 140 acres of land to set up super luxurious residential complexes overlooking the Zuari River and the Murmagao Harbour is covering Bambolim and Nauxi Villages.
The goons, by the way are also threatening the villagers of Nauxim as the houses there are of the Gawada adivasis are causing hinderance to the Comforts of the super rich. People here are offered cash by force and asked to leave thier dwelling places so as to make way for the plans to construct mini harbours inside Zuari so that water sports can make way. Current sources of livelihood in these villages is fishing and that is sort to be put to end by the Luxury tourism policies and instead plans are underway for full scale pomotion of water sports. Nauxi has come under severe pressure after its mountain was 'sold' to builders' firm by the landlord Mhambre. It is actually a bunch of landlords that are first responsible to cunningly transfer land titles into their names and then sell the same to the builders.

The Cacra-Nauxi public road blockade is only the begining of things to come with goon power. This road even several years before it was tarred by the Alcon developers, was and still is a traditional way of the Cacra villagers going to Nauxi, Bambolim and Siridao. The road is also used as fishing Path. The land to the builders - Alcon dvelopers was sold again here by another Bhatcar - landlord Pradeep Talaulikar. His family got these land titles in his families names with usurious intentions during Portuguguese colonial period that ended in 1961. It is landlord-Builders nexus that is involved in conquests of lands of Goa's adivasis in 'Liberated Goa'.

Patience of the Cacra villagers that fought industrialist Timblos in 1997 though village anhilating porject called OSB - Offshore Stockyard and Bearth by Marmagoa Maritime Limited (MML), who fought over water theft from their village well by Timblos 1999, who are continuesly guarding against encroachment of builders, are facing yet another test. However it is not going to be thier last test as struggles of over land are acutely fought over throughout Goa and Cacra simly has best of lands for builders and Real Estate sharks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Today on 14th November 2007 the birthday of Chacha Nehru had a nasty suprise in store for the People of Cacra, Tiswadi, Goa, India. Goons came and forcefully blocked and errected gate on public road connecting Cacra and Nauxi villages on Zuari River shores. When the Cacra Nagrik Vikas Samiti (CNVS) went in to inquire they were told to contact the local panch who is supposed to know everything about the matter. He however was not traceble today and his mobile was not connectable.

This fresh assault on the Cacra villagers and Goa's tribal popolation - Gawdas comes at a time when there is increasing protests of the conquests of the Goa's coast by the buiders and Real estate agents for tourism and purposes. The entire coast in the region of Cacra, Nauxi, Bambolim, Siridao, Odxel, Mariel, Aivao and Dona Paula is under pressure due to this ruthless onslaught wherein State is actively siding with the builders.
There was drinking water well here that was burried by the builders. The pain and agony caused to the villagers here is unimaginable.

Looking at the way the things are proceedings it is not very difficult to guess the near future of Goa: On Coast due to Real Estate and in the Hinterlands due to open cast iron ore lobby, there is going to be the situation of mass homelessness with repurcursions of its own.

Few months earlier same bulders tried to errect the gate but the angry villagers had brought down the contruction of Gate on Public Road. Cacra villagers use this space for their fishing activity. But the landlords - Talaulikars who got this land registered in thier name with usurios intensions during earstwhile Portuguese Colonial regime that ranged from 1510 upto 1961 are involved in selling the same to builders over the past few years - a familiar pattern that is visible across the State of Goa. They are known as 'Bhatcars', landlords who are the in the forefront of Sale of Goa for corporates.

Cacra villagers were forced into fishing after they were occupationally displaced from agriculture when Goa University was set up in thier lands. Now looks like they are also compelled to do away with their fishing occupation. What is suprising is that it is all happening in the knowledge and blessings of the powers that be in Goa. The entire coast is under assault from the rich and famous - the film stars, Sports Stars, Underworld and what not. The need of the hour is to evolve fitting reply to the Corporate invasion.