Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fomentos mining with police protection in Colamb, Sanguem

This is the way Fomentos are involved in burying forest alive in Colamb, Sanguem. Authorities in Goa are yet to take action against the mining company. Petition has been admitted in Goa Bench of Bombay High Court against the company. Petitioners includes Rama Velip, Dr. Avadooth Prabhudessai and Goa Foundation.
Even as the High Court admitted the petition the very next day morning two police jeeps landed today - March 11 2004 to help mining company to carry on the mining smoothly. Perhaps mining company have lost all the patience with law and Judiciary and heading towards Contempt.
Mining activities on this Fomento mine is going on currently. However it is not able to carry on transportation of Ore, and that is causing headache for the mining company. It is nearly two months that transportation of Ore is blocked by the local villagers, State forest department, GAKUVED and Goa Foundation.
Villagers have been going on the mining site. The above picture is of 11th February 2008 when GAKUVED, Goa Foundation, Goa Bachao Abhiyan and the Villagers of Colamb carried out joint inspection of this mine that is in operation under Police protection.
This mine is right in between the Forest and the agriculture of the villagers of Colamb. It has caused siltation of fields and traditional water ways along with drying up of nearby fresh water springs. Horticulture too is badly affected due to Fomentos infringements of People's fundamental right to life.
And of all the groups Goa Police have been protecting the mining company with their jeeps on the mining site. The above picture is of February 11th 2008.
However Goa Police have been repeatedly challenged by the villagers of Colamb. Police repression has been condemned time and again. Yet lucrative profits make it extremely difficult for Goa Police and mining company to refrain from harassing the villagers. The stage is set for another Battle ahead.

Patricia Pinto of Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) visited this mining site on February 11 2008. She is also the member of Task Force for drawing up Goa Regional Plan 2021. This mining trip provided some exposure to her. She expressed her solidarity with the Colamb villagers.
Dr. Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation questioned Goa Police stationed on Fomento mining site on what they were doing in Forest matters on February 11, 2008.
This board displayed at the mining site of Fomentos provides some details of this mine, including that this lease concession was granted in 1949. In 1949 is Colonial State of Portugal that was ruling Goa. Colonial legacy in Goa continues unabated.

Sebastian Rodrigues

No comments: