Thursday, February 7, 2008


By Prabhakar Padekar


This old community our ancestors have lived here for centuries. When nothing else existed, not even the road that passes from Bambolim to Donapaula. After liberation you will see that Cacra is loosing more than it is gaining. Due to the development of the University, we have lost our right over the forest which our ancestors cultivated for centuries. We in Cacra do not get public water supply and have no toilets. Yes, we have a road that threatens to bring into Cacra the construction of Dock on our river front. Yes, we have electricity but then while we remain in darkness when the Industries and construction that gets all the electricity they want.

The CACRA NAGRIK VIKAS SAMITI (CNVS) which was inaugurated on 24/05/1998. The purpose of the samiti is to bring about development to the village. What are the problems of the village every villager knows.

1. A number of Government Schemes exists. Some of us have got subsidies in fishing, but there are many other schemes which we must find out and study and how we can make them serve the benefit of the people.
2. Find out about our LAND RIGHTS: We all say we are MUNDKARS, but most of us are not registered.
3. The problem of the Cidade de Goa five star Hotel which plans to build a gigantic size dock., the size larger than two Football grounds. First of all these lakhs of tons of concrete and machinery in the river where effect sea life not only in Cacra but will spread during high tide upto Donapaula during low tide upto Agasaim. Secondly, it will permanently damage the beach. Thirdly, the cement will create health problems for all the people not just in Cacra but in the entire University area. The noise bringing in all materials will disturb the University which needs a conducive Academic environment.

As you all know, these projects has no license and no approval from Panchayat. I feel confident that we from Cacra who are united and support of all people of neighboring villages and also the support of the University, and help from many Organisations that have worked to safeguard the interest of common villager.

Illegal drilling operations by MML at Cacra for OSB:

It may be noted that temporary structures, machinery and personnel were first moved into Cacra on may 7th 1998. On Friday 8th may work was started. By the morning of 15th May, Police from Goa Velha Police station arrived to protect the work. On 18th May the villagers requested MLA Ms Victoria Fernandes and Sarpanch Mr. William Gonsalves to intervene and the work was stopped on site.

On 20th May company resumed work with increased police protection. Cacra Nagrik Vikas Samiti protested against the illegal drilling operations. However, Murmugao maritime Ltd (MML), a Fomento Company carried out the work with Police protection.

On 5th June 1998, ‘WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY’ CNVS organized a protest Dharna on the occasion of the World Environment Day to highlight the issue. Over 100 men, women and children and teaching faculty members from Goa University participated in the Dharna in front of the office of North Goa collector. Then they called on the Tiswadi Mamlatdar and North Goa Collector. We discussed in detail the illegal drilling operations and soil testing by MML for the purpose of constructing the Offshore Stockyard and Berth (OSB). Then the CNVS has written letter to the chief Secretary, department of Science, technology and Environment, Panchayat for immediate action on the illegal activity undertaken by MML. The letter received from Marmagao Port Trust (MPT) Deputy Conservator, who disclosed that MML permitted to carry Soil Testing in Zuari river near Bambolim beach. It was stated that the company was asked to get all permissions from the State Government before undertaking the work. It should be noted that Bambolim beach comes under the revenue jurisdictions of Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim and is part of the San Andre constituency.

What is OSB?

Offshore Stockyard and Berth (OSB) is an Offshore Terminal for loading and unloading bulk Cargo Ship of the BERTH. The OSB consists of a concrete caisson seated on the floor of the sea. Barges bringing iron ore from Mines would be unloaded at the OSB at the rate of 300000 TDP and stored in the Caison and then load the ships. Utility and other services are also provided on the Caisson. The Caison have storage capacity of at least 400,000 and 43 mt in height having a storage of 200,000 tons of iron ore were contemplated.

Theft Of Water From Village By Industrialist And PSI’s Assault On Convenor

On 24th January 2001, the CNVS staged a MORCHA in Panjim to protest against the government inaction to stop the theft of drinking water from public well in Cacra. The procession started from the Panjim Municipal market ended in a Dharna at the
Customs House. The protestors included women with empty pots to highlight the shortage of drinking water.

It may be recalled that in May 2000 the villagers had made representation to Santa Cruz village Panchayat Sarpanch regarding drying of village well due to pumping of water by a deep well pump that had illegally installed in the public well resulting in hardships caused to over 400 people. Although no action was taken by the village Panchayat for three months, Director of Public grievances and collector of North Goa pursued the matter with Director of Panchayat and eventually the Panchayat Secretary conducted panchanama on 29th August 2000.

The Panchayat found that the Pump House Shed of the tin sheets and pump were illegal and report was forwarded to Block Development Officer (BDO) Tiswadi. Village Panchayat also informed the land owner Mr. Pradeep Talaulikar. The Panchayat received a letter from both parties i.e. Land Owner and ALCON developer saying no objections to the demolitions for illegal structure. Subsequently, the Panchayat wrote to the Assistant Engineer, Electricity department, Bambolim to disconnect the electricity supply to the pump. So demolition work was carried out.

Other instance to suppress the genuine movement of the village people was by putting up a false complaint. CNVS Convenor Surya Sawant was arrested at 1 am Sunday and made to sleep on the floor. He was finger printed and photographed and besides taunted and humiliated by constables of the Agassaim Police Station. He was also assaulted by PSI Sammy Tavares. The PSI taunted Surya Sawant on be being leader of the village and kicked and punched Sawant on his chest. Meanwhile CNVS conducted a public meeting in the village to discuss the illegal pumping water and the unwarranted arrest. The meeting resolved to undertake a public protest to Panaji to highlight to seek justice from the Government.

This Paper was presented in the SANGUEM CONFERENCE of Nature Environment Society and Transformations (NEST) on 14-17 August 2003.

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