Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maina: Zoleracho Dongor Public Hearing Objections

Shri John Fernandes,
r/o. Copelabhat, Deao,
Date: 28/7/2008.

The Chairman,
Goa State Pollution Control Board,
Dempo Tower,
EDC Plaza, 1st Floor,

Sub: Objection to the public hearing fixed on 2/8/2008 pertaining M/S. Shantilal k and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.44/51 and Rapid Environment Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan.


I the undersigned hereby lodge my objection to the Rapid Environment Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan submitted by the owner of Joleracho Dongor Iron ore Mine based on which public hearing has been fixed on 2/8/2008 by the Goa Pollution Control Board at Paik Dev Hall Maina Quepem for the renewal of mining lease of M/S. Shantilal k and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.44/51on the following ground:

1. The Rapid Environment Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan prepared by Bhagavathi Ana Labs Ltd and submitted by the M/S. Shantilal k and bros. Pvt. Ltd for the renewal of Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.44/51 is false, fabricated, distorted, suppresses important and vital information hence the report requires to be rejected.

2. That after assessing the report one can come to the conclusion that the report was by sitting in the office of Bhagavathi Ana Labs Ltd at Hydrabad and no point of time they have visited the site.

3. The report suppresses the fact that there are residential houses in the leased portion. On the contrary the report on pg 4.16 says that are no human settlement within the mine lease. There are 13 residential house , (four in survey No.28, 6 in survey No.24 and 3 in survey No.32) out of which 6 belongs to the Dhanger community , in which around 150 people are residing. There are also two temples namely Paik Dev Temple and Sateri Temple which also comes within the leased portion.

4. The report suppresses the fact that the leased portion is a big mountain as its name suggest having thick fully grown forest. This area is a home for our national bird peacock, king Cobra and tiger. As this mountain touches the Cottigao Wild Santuary mountain which is just 3 kms the tiger get spotted in this place.

5. The owner of the mine namely M/S. Shantilal K and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine and its agent has already started operating the mine as big mining pits and mining rejection can be are seen in survey No.27 and 24 and has done extensive damage to the forest, water , air which can be ascertained by inspecting the site. Why the environmental hearing for such a mine at this stage? Can we expect any environmental protection from such a mine owners it they are permitted to operate?

6. That M/S. Shantilal K and Bros. Pvt. Ltd. Pante Pan e Saterkarachi iron ore mine under T.C. No.9/53, M/S. Shantilal K and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C, No.44/51 , M/S. Tisa Moraes Mining Industries Ubea Fateracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.1/57 and Devapan Dongor Iron and manganese ore mine of Shri Shaik Salaim under T.C.No01/1951 Cavrem all the mine are attach to each other and are in contigeneous in nature . Hence the overall impact of all mine has to be assess together , and not each mine separately. One this count also the report requires to be rejected.

7.That the archiological site at Rivona are at a distance of 3 kms which comes within the before zone. So also the Ponsamol protected site at Colomba are at a distance of 7 kms from the leased area . However the report on pg.1.2 and on pg.4.24 says that there are no archeological or historical site within the bore zone. The Cottigao wild life sanctuary also comes within the before zone. The Cottigao wild life sanctuary which is mentioned as at a distance of 11 kms is false and fabricated as the Cottigao wild life sanctuary is at a distance of around 3 kms from the leased portion. The Cottigao wild life sanctuary boundary mountain can be seen from the Paik Dev Temple Maina.

8. The report based on false facts. The Report says that the area is a hilly area , the name itself suggest that it is a mountain.

9.The undersigned state that no mining activity can leads to sustainable development as any activity which does not secure the needs of the future generation cannot be termed as Sustainable development. The mining industry/activity does not guarantee the needs of future generation hence the development done by mining industry cannot be termed as sustainable development. The industry which does not secure the needs of future generation should not be promoted.

10. The mining is not the backbone of Goa’s economy as false proclaimed by the mining companies. That presently the way the mining is going on a day will come the mining industry will break our backbone and we will not be position even to stand. Which can be seen after 10 to 15 years. The Mining industry will die permanently by another 15 to 20 years. Along with it will destroy our forest, water resources, agricultural land. The sins the mining industry has committed over the years will generate number of dieses particularly related to air. In short it will destroy Goa’s economy such industry should not be promoted.

11. The mining industry make the rich richer and the poor poorer. As from the mining industry 20% people get benefited and while 80% suffers. One day a turn will come for the poor people of Cavrem, Maina to bag.

12. The REIA report is false and distorted as it says that there are no dwellings within the lease area as mentioned on pg.4.16 . There are 14 houses wherein around 150 people are residing. The report also does not give correct picture of the ST population as 80% of the population in the buffor zone is form ST community.

13. The area were the mine is proposed is cover under thick forest and is a home for different animal such as spotted Dear, Byson, leapords, tiger etc. and for different reptiles including king Cobra and birds including national bird peacock. The start of mining activities in that area will destroy the forest , affect the animals, reptiles, birds .

14. The Government High School Mina is at a distance of just 300 mts wherein around 300 students are studying. The dust and noise pollution caused by the mining activity will affect their health.

15. The Corca River which is a tributary of Kushawati River is at a distance of around 500 mts. from the proposed mine. The government this year has constructed 4 bandaras over the Corca River at an estimated cost of Rs.4 crore in order to bring 100 acre of land under cultivation. The proposed mine will destroy the Corca river and the amount invested in constructing the Bandaras will go in waste.

16. That as per the report of Sanjevani Sugar Factory there is an area of 101.87 hectors under sugarcane cultivation and on which around 90 farmers of surviving the proposed mine affect the sugarcane cultivation in the area and will affect the farmers surviving on it. Similarly around 200 hectors of land of Maina village is under cashew cultivation of private owners and Goa Forest development Corporation, the proposed mine will affect it.

17. There are number of medicinal plants in the proposed mining area which are being used by the villagers for their medicinal use. The proposed mine will destroy these plants and will destroy the medicines of the Tribals.

18. The area mentioned in the notice and in the survey record does not tally. The area as per survey record is more.

19. The property information given on pg.4.21 is false. The report says that the entire area is a private land the undersigned states that there is vast track of forest land comes within these survey holding.

20. That area under forest cover as mentioned on pg.4.20 is also wrong 95% of the area of the leased portion is under forest cover.

21. That due to constant exposure to dust due to the mining the people in the locality will suffer from different dieses like Asthoma, T.B, Silicoses etc as mentioned in the report it self on pg. 4.25.

In view of above the Rapid Environment Impact Assessment and management plan/report submitted by M/S. Shantilal k and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.44/51 be rejected.

Yours Faithfully
Copy to

1. The Hon’ble Minister of Environment and Forest
Government of India,
New Delhi.

2. The Hon’ble Minister of State,
Ministry of Env. and Forest,
Govt. of India, Paryavaran Bhavan,
CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi.

3. The Hon’ble Secretary,
Ministry of Env. and Forest,
Govt. of India, Paryavaran Bhavan,
CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi

4.The Hon’ble Minister of Environment and Forest,
Government of Goa,

5. The Chief Secretary,
State of Goa,

4. The collector South Goa,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Illegal mining at Maina and Cavrem village of Quepem taluka

Shri John Fernandes,
r/o. Copelabhat, Deao,
Date: 21/7/2008.

1. The Chairman,
Goa State Pollution Control Board,
Dempo Tower,
EDC Plaza, 1st Floor,

2. The Director of Mines and Geology,
Udyog Bhavan,
Panaji-Goa .

3. The Chief Conservator of Forest,

Sub: Complaint against illegal mining in Cavrem and Maina Village.


I the undersigned, concerned citizen of Goa and a resident of Quepem, hereby files/lodge my complaint against illegal mining at Cavrem and Maina Village of Quepem taluka and request you to take immediate action.

1. That at Cavrem-Quepem a public hearing for the renewal of mining lease of Devapam Dongor iron and manganese ore mine of Shri Shaik Salaim under T.C/Mining lease No. 01/1951 was held on 28/4/2008 at Mallikarjun Temple Cavrem. That as per the information available the mine is yet to get environment and Forest clearance from the ministry of environment and forest. However the mine owner way back in October 2007 has already undertaken illegal mining activities in the leased portion . Big mining pits are seen at the site and a number of roads made by destroying forest land were seen on the hillock. That while carrying out the above mining activities a large track of forest land has been destroyed , damage is also caused to the agriculture land and water resources. Photo of the illegal mine is hereto annexed which is marked as annexure “A”.

2. That Public hearing for the renewal of mining lease of M/S. Shantilal k and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Zoleracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C./Mining lease No.44/51 is fixed on 2/8/2008. However the mine was already started operating in the leased portion since December 2007 ,operation sans licence/clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The fact that the mine is illegal can be confirmed from the fact that the hearing is fixed on 2/8/2008. The public notice dated 2/7/2008 is hereto annexed which is marked as annexure “B”. Big illegal mining pits and big rejection dump of a height of around 20 mts are seen on the site . It is also seen that a JCB machines used for excavation was seen parked on the side of the illegal mining pit. An illegal weighting bridge was also constructed. The photo of the illegal mining pit is hereto annexed which is marked as annexure “C”. The photo of the weighting bridge is hereto annexed which is marked as annexure “D”. This is on the one side of the mountain while on the other side of the mountain a large scales destruction of forest land has been done to develop mining pit , to facilitate mining rejection dump and to make illegal roads. The photo of the illegal activities is hereto annexed which is marked at annexure “E”. Thus great damage has already been done to the forest, water and air.

3. That similarly public hearing for the renewal of the mining lease of M/S. Shantilal k and bros. pvt. Ltd. Pante Pan e Saterkarachi iron ore mine under T.C./Mining lease No.9/53 was held on 21/6/2008. That though the mine is yet to get Forest and Environment clearance the concerned owner/agent has already started the mine. In the process large scale cutting of forest trees is being done to facilitate drilling and to make roads. They have done extensive damage to the Forest, agriculture, water , air and other aspect of environment. The photo of which are hereto annexed which are marked as annexure “F”.

I hereby kindly requesting you to take immediate action against the owners/agents for doing/carrying out illegal mining activities sans

permission. I further request you to immediately cancel the mining leases of all the above mentioned mine for causing damage environment and disobeying environmental norms laid done by the Ministry of Environment and Forest . If your department failed to act then I shall be constrained to take matter before the Hon’ble High Court, entirely at your risk as to its cost and consequence. So also I shall be constrained to initiate appropriate criminal proceedings against your for derrelecting from your duties.

Yours Faithfully


( John Fernandes )

As Above

Copy to:

1.The Hon’ble Chief Minister,
State of Goa,

2.The Hon’ble Minister of Environment and Forest,
Government of Goa,

3. The Hon’ble Minister of Environment and Forest
Government of India,
New Delhi.

4. The Chief Secretary,
State of Goa,

5. The Collector of South Goa,

6. The Dy-Collector of Quepem,

Illegal Road in Maina, Quepem Forest
Illegal wiegh bridge at the mine site

Illegal mining dumps in Forest

Rampant illegal felling down of Forest trees to clear way for Forest

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dempo havoc in Pilgao

Pilgao is one village in Bicholim, where in the havoc created by Dempo mining company is legendary and is visible for everyone to see. The company has got its beneficiation plant located in the village to wash the iron ore, it is a site for storage of the iron ore, site where in it has created arificial lake to pump water out to earn foreign exchange, de facto privatized public road and most importantly it has dumped mining waste in precious reclaimed lands of Goa known as Khazan lands. Lets tour Pilgao... the above picture is of beneficiation Plant that creates intense pollution for the surroundings.
This is how Dempos have dumped its overburden in Khazan lands...
Dumping continues in traditional fields. Dempos are responsible for large scale destruction of agriculture and Forest in Bicholim taluka due to the reckless mining activity...
Dempos have laid pipelines in the traditional fields to solve the problem of logging created by its own mining dumps...
You can see the high tubidity level in Khazan lands in Pilgao. The water in the field is mining red!
This is not a welcome gate to Pilgao but an arc above the public road (connecting Bicholim town to Sarmanas Ferry) is of its beneficiation plant; public road is gradually yet systematically brought under the private control of Dempos. A new road is constructed nearby through public money though entire industry is for private gains.

View of the nearby mountains from the Dempos waste in Pilagao Khazan lands.
This is a mini mountain created by dumpings from Dempos in the middle of the Khazan lands. One has to count how many natural mountains Dempos has razed to the ground in Bicholim taluka alone to constitute its booty capital - windfall earnings through loot of the nature over the past half a century.
Water stays accumulated in the fields in Pilgao: Courtesy Dempos contribution to Goa.
Dempos have constructed mud road through the fields to transport mining waste in the Khazan lands.
Dempos has all the field for itself, it has a might to do what it feels is right; all Goa's fields are its backyard. Perhaps this is the reason Dempo family member Vasantrao Dempo was awarded Padmashree by the Indian government: to be the chief of Goa's mining loot and plunder and transform Bicholim as begging bowl.

Accumulated water in Pilgao due to Dempos mischief.
You can notice new variety of samplings on the arrestors of the dumps. You know, these plants are called Acasias and they are known water suckers. Dempos have been sucking all our water in Bicholim to dig deep and now it is sucking deep with Acasias in Khazan lands as well. Dempos cruelty is truly limitless.
This is an edge of the dump in Pilgao...
Water bodies inside the Khazan lands near Dempos dumps are turnd trubid red due to dumping. This is visible and common sense to understand. Dempos will have to get scientists from mining research centre, Dhanbad, Jharkhand to fabricate and prove otherwise as it has done so in number of occasions in recent past including to prove that its mine in Mayem has no impact on dencresing water levels of Mayem lake, in Bicholim.
You can see the turbid waters of Pilgao Khazhans in the above picture. Don't forget to call up Dempos corporate office in Panjim and congratulate its managing director for transforming Goa red.

This one is really really intense red...
This one looks like a pond between the dumps; only frogs cannot jump in this as they like fresh clean water and Dempos have been messing it up all, all over Bicholim and beyond.
You can no longer cultivate rice in this. With mining of Dempos and other companies, we will soon have to say "Once upon a time Goa was green and self-producing in food. But alas, Dempos finished it up all. We cannot unfortunately eat footballs. The corporate has fooled us all."
This water, adjacent to Dempos dumps is red. Once upon a time it was fishemen's paradise. But no longer so, as Dempos condemned all life forms to the dumping graves. It has left accasias for us to depend upon.
This is not a sweeming pool. In fact one wishes it was so...but you know...'If wishes were horses, beggers would ride...' And mining trade in full swing entire people of Goa are indeed becoming beggers. We will have to die begging for water as there would be no one to listen to our cries. Dempo family and relatives will be sitting in France or Switzerland: the countries with water as their choice. You and I will be left only to die.

This is where Dempos are releasing their water from Beneficiation plant. You can see the edges of its pipelines.
This is where water from beneficiation plant is released into; it has become artificial lake. Dempos have declared their intentions to take over massive amounts of lands in Pilgao village. The details are available in the taskforce report as annexure. The same way Chowgules have declared to take over massive lands in Lotoulim. Chowgules want Indusrial estate status to subsidise its mining operations there!
This is where water is released from benefitiation plant for filtering purpose. One wonders: all the weath that is earned from mining, how it is being filtered? Whose coffers are filled? How much of it goes to Pilgao and other victim villages in Bicholim, besides few lakhs to temples to control people and few walls constructed around Bicholim bus stand with infinite number of Dempos name plates as public relations exercise?
You can see who is swimming in the polluted water in Pilgao. Buffaloes have no where else to go but sit in Dempos silt and turbid water. Dempos like rest of mining companies in Goa create public damage and private profit. The entire mining industry is illogical and irrational that has to be done away with. Sooner it is done, better it is. Dempos are law unto themselves in Bicholim taluka.
Pick up you camera and go shooting. You will see so many things around you wherein injustice meted out by mining companies are rampant. As Amartya Sen writes in his recent book 'The Argumentative Indian', "Silence is the greatest enemy of Social Injustice."
Sebastian Rodrigues with creative input from Ramesh Gauns and Kurund Gauns in Bicholim.

Save Mandovi! Save Zuari!!

Mining companies have intensified their hold over Goa's river network. Here are few pictures of how it is being done over Mandovi river that flow in North Goa. According to S. Sridhar, Executive director of Goa Mineral Exporters Association Goa has exported 40 million tonnes of ore over the period of nine months in a year. He has been quoted in Gomantak Times 20 July 2008 in an article by Nilesh Khandeparkar along with some more statistics.

All this transportation of ore is carried out through the barges in Mandovi and Zuari Rivers of Goa. This is the state of rivers in the monsoon of 2008 when the mining rejects and stored ore gets washed up into the river. These pictures are of Mandovi river in North Goa. The river is in the state of high level of turbidity as can be seen from the reddish colour of its water.

264 barges that ply in our rivers in Goa makes anywhere between between 15-20 trips per month from their various loading points on the river banks up to MPT port in Vasco or at Panjim port.
The cost of each barge without ore ranges between Rs. 2 - 2.5 crores
If all the ore that gets transported had to be carried on in trucks from the roads then it would mean trucks had to make 33 lakh trips in nine months!
That would amount to 4 lakh trips per month!
And 14,000 trucks per day!

Each barge carries up to 1,000 tonnes of ore!
Now based on these statistics lets calculate further the economics of Iron Ore and Manganese trade in Goa: According to calculations based on minimum cost of Iron Ore in an international market to China costs Rs. 8,000/- per tonne, each truck that ply on road in Goa costs Rs. 80,000/- as each truck carries ten tonne of ore.
The cost of ore that goes in each smallest full capacity barge of 1000 tonnes from Mandovi and Zuari is Rs. 80,00,000/- (Rupees Eighty Lakh) per trip! The bigger barge of 2000 tonnes fetches Rs. 2,00,00,000/- (Rupees Two crores) each!
Sesa Goa plant on the banks of Mandovi in Amona village in Bicholim taluka. No wonder companies like these benefit hugely from loot of the Goan soil.
Now we know why miners fume when protests voices are rising, their crores are at stake.

To continue crores of earning for the few companies we in Goa are sacrificing our bloodlines, our veins of life - Mandovi and Zuari rivers with all their tributaries. The above picture is of Dempo mining activity on the banks of Mandovi in Sarmanas, Bicholim.
This picture is at Sarmanas, Bicholim, Goa taken on July 1st 2008
This is a turbid Mandovi banks of Zuem also know as St. Estavam.
This ferry in turbid waters at the coast of Marcela coast of Ponda taluka.
This is a turbid Mandovi tributery separating Marcela, Ponda and Zuem Island, Tiswadi.
Mandovi is turbid red because of mining as well as because of transportation of Ore.
It is time we stand to defend our rivers, in fact liberate our rivers from the clutches of multi crore business tycoons from Goa and abroad.
Save Mandovi! Save Zuari!!
Sebastian Rodrigues with creative support from Ramesh Gauns and Kurund Gauns in Bicholim, Goa.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tarcar mining trucks forced-stop in Colamb

Around 100 strong group of villagers of Kevona-Colamb blocked road in the village and sent back over 50 Iron Ore trucks back to Dinar Tarcar's mines in nearby Sulcorna village on July 10 2008. At around 10.00 am Colamb villagers descended on the road and started blocking the road. Scene turned tensed when a local correspondent of the Marathi daily 'Goa Doot' was violently targeted by the truck drivers and public stood in defence of the photographer. Police from Quepem Police station turned up at the road blockade site and immediately - rather pleasant surprise considering earlier track record of Police from Quepem Police station - started siding with the agitating villagers demand that no transportation of Ore on the villager road be carried on till the pot-holes ridden village road hijacked by mining companies. By 2.00 pm Public and Police forced the trucks to go back to their mines and stop plying on the road in Colamb. Police indeed deserved to be congratulated for this. Well done at least once you'll took the side of public. it would be great to see more of such actions in future specially against Fomento mining company that has been systematically ruing the Colamb village through its mine of Hiralal khodidas.

Dinar Tarcar is carrying on illegal mine lease in the name of Hyder Cassim T.C. No. 10/51 in Sulcorna. Mining has cause tremendous damage to the agriculture in Sulcorna and Dinar Tarcar is involved in muzzling of local protests of villagers in Sulcorna.

Villagers on the earlier occasion on July 08 2008 had complained to the Rivona Sarpanch about the bad road conditions in Colamb and forced her to take immediate steps to stop mining transportation on public road. Sarpanch Manshi Naik had reluctantly agreed to this after behaving hi handed with the villagers. Click here for earlier report on this.

Sebastian Rodrigues with input from Rama Velip in Colamb

Govt, cops play truant at mining CD screening

The Government and the police showed their complete insensitivity towards the mining problem as both failed to remain present at the screening of documentary CDs that threw light on the trials and tribulations of the adivasi people from the mining belt.

Organised by the Gawada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) on Thursday, the screening was an answer to the opposition Leader Manohar Parrikar's claims that the CDs contained information on how to kill police officers during mining agitations.

During the Ad-Hoc Committee meeting on Home on June 19 Parrikar had stated that Sebastian Rodrigues, co-ordinator for MAND (an initiative of GAKUVED), was a naxal instigating people to create violence during their agitations against mining.

Today, showing 10 CDs to an almost empty Menezes Braganza hall, Rodrigues said, "On June 19, Parrikar misused his position while speaking as Chaiman of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Home to make this baseless naxal charge."

GAKUVED President Durgadas Gaonkar said they had extended invitation to the Home Ministry and Inspector General of Police Kishan Kumar through a letter to attend the screening but no one turned up. Even press presence was minuscule.

Gaonkar maintained some of the CDs were shown in houses where people were afflicted by mining and was no public screening of these anywhere.

The documentaries prepared by Bindrai Institute of Research, Study and Action, Ranchi, highlighted invasion of land by mining companies in Jharkhand. Some of the documentaries, Buddha Weeps in Jadugoda, Ro Ro, Janata Curfew and Final Statement, showed adivasi rights campaign in favour of land rights of the affected people.

On June 23, at a fiery meeting at the T B Cunha Hall, here, individuals, NGOs, organisations, environmentalists, villagers and village leaders endorsed full support to Sebastian and branded Parrikar as spokesperson of the mining lobby.

The meeting had the presence of people from Advalpal, Colamb and mining affected areas in Goa.

Appeared in Herald, Panjim on 11 July 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tarcar Mining: Rivona Sarpanch Gheraoed

Due to unbearable situation created in Colamb due to transportation of Iron Ore truck by Tarcar mine operating in Sulcorna village agitated Colamb villagers gheraoed Village sarpanch Manshi Naik at the Panchayat office in Rivona. About 25 villagers mostly women had gone to complain to the Panchayat authorities about pathetic road conditions created due to operation of mining trucks from Tarcar mines in nearby Sulcorna village.

Sulcorna village in 100% under various mining leases during Portuguese period. Former Congress - (I) candidate for Panjim constituency associated with Youth Congress - Dinar Tarcar has been involved in predatory form of iron ore mining in Sulcorna. Besides ruining Sulcorna, its transportation is ruining public roads of Colamb and Rivona as well. Colamb villagers today expressed their displeasure to the village authorities.

Gherao was resorted to, according to eye witness Motesh Antao, when Sarpanch Ms. Manshi Naik behaved in high handed manner and refused to listen to the grievances of the villagers present at the Panchayat office. Instead of listening to the villagers she tried to shut voices of the villagers by ordering them to shut up.

Villagers then accused Sarpanch of being on the pay roll of the mining companies demanded her resignation. It is only after the verbal duel with the villagers that Sarpanch reluctantly agreed to write letter to the concerned authorities regarding the destruction of roads in Colamb village by Tarcar mining transportation from nearby Sulcorna village.

It is indeed tragedy of Goa that we have people like Manshi Naik as Sarpanches in Goa; earlier they are overthrown by People Power better it is for Goa's future, or we are all destined to be stiffled by mining companies.

Sebastian Rodrigues

Public Screenings of Jharkhand Adivasi Rights CDs

Gawada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) will organise a public screening of documentary cds on Thursday, 10th July at 4.00 pm at Art Gallery of Menezes Braganza Hall, Panjim, Goa.

The documentary CDs were dubbed as 'Naxal' by the Leader of the opposition on June 19, 2008 at the Public Hearing of the House Committee of Home Ministry.

The CDs are a adivasi rights campaign in favour of land rights against invasion of the mining companies in Jharkhand. They are produced by a group called BIRSA - Binbrai Institute of Research Study and Action based in Ranchi, Jharkahnd.

The screening is for Press, Police and members of Public.

Yours Sincerely,

(Durgadas Gaonkar)
Gawada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED)

Phone: 09923336347

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

GAKUVED warns mining industry in Goa

Gawada, Kunbi, Velip & Dhangar Federation (GAKUVED) express shock on the charge in the statement issued by the Hon'ble Opposition Leader Shri Manohar Parrikar against our Co-ordinator of 'Mand' Shri Sebastian Rodrigues. GAKUVED strongly condemn and denies the charge levied on our O-odinator as naxalite.

In fact Shri Sebastian Rodrigues is working with and helping GAKUVED for the last four year in their activities. GAKUVED has formed a unit called 'MAND' - An Adivasi-rights Resource Centre and Shri Sebastian Rodrigues is the Co-ordinator of the same. Because the News Agencies in Goa do not take any interest in publishing our news there was a need for us to go for other media and GAKUVED has formed the blog of its own where all the information about day to day activities carried by GAKUVED is posted for the information of general public.

GAKUVED's local unit in Rivona Panchayat in Sanguem Taluka based at Colomb is involved in safeguarding and protecting their agricultural and plantation land which is threatened by mining companies. Out of total village land of 1929 hectares, 1510 hectares is under 23 mining leases granted during Colonial Portuguese regime that ended in 1961 and continued by the free Indian State. The villagers are fighting for their survival and GAKUVED is supporting their struggle over past one year. As a Co-ordinator of MAND some times Shri Sebastian Rodrigues visits the mining areas at the request of the local villagers during their protest against the illegal mining (all the mining activities in Goa are illegal) and prepares the report with photographs and publishes it on the blog. Shri Sebastian Rodrigues is never involved in any naxalite activities and members of GAKUVED always remained with him. GAKUVED never noticed Shri Sebastian Rodrigues involved in any naxal activities. It is only Mr. Manohar Parrikar's daydreaming at the instance of mining companies. In fact it is the mining companies that are involved in terrorising the villagers by employing goons and Mr. Parrikar overlooking the activities of the mining companies.

Mr. Manohar Parrikar has never helped and supported the GAKUVED Community. He has only used this community as vote bank to secure his position in Power. In 2000, when Mr. Parrikar was leading the State Government, GAKUVED has arranged a Morcha on 01-03-2000 to demand inclusion of their name in Central list of ST. On 02-03-2000 the delegates of GAKUVED tried to meet Shri Parrikar at Farmagudi to give him the Memorandum, Shri Parrikar expressed, "Bhausaheban mhaka trasan udoilo, vadea vadeani shala kadleo ani." (Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa has put me in trouble, for he opened primary schools in different wards of villages providing education). What Shri Parrikar wanted to tell the delegates, readers you judge.

When GAKUVED was struggling to get this community included in the Central List of Scheduled Tribes his government with the help of some of our community members had tried to delete the names of GAKUVED community from the list. When the list was published in Times of India, the GAKUVED members rushed to New Delhi and met Secretary, Tribal Welfare where it was informed that at the instruction of the local BJP government the list have been changed. Then GAKUVED had filed Writ in the Parliament through the then MP Shri Ramakant Angle to include names of GAKUVED community in the Central List. Unfortunately Dhangar community was excluded from the list due to the politics of BJP Government.

In 2003 delegates of GAKUVED met him in his Chamber to inquire about implementation of Tribal Act in the State of Goa. Mr. Parrikar remarked, "Mhaka tumche Gaudea lokancho abhiman dista. Madkai majea mamalea Bhatant tumche gaude lok sogle kam sanginastana kartat and magir Mapusa majea bhatant yeun moino bhor kam kortat." (I am proud of Gawada community. They work in my uncle's plantation at Marcaim and after finishing that work, they work in my plantation at Mapusa without my knowledge for one month). By this remark Mr. Parrikar just wanted to tell that you are good in doing manual work in plantations and must continue doing that without taking education and Mr. Parrikar will continue to enjoy the fruits of free labour for eternity.

This he has proved during his reign as CM by raising tution fees in all the professional colleges and made it economically beyond reach for the general members of the GAKUVED and other backward class to take admissions in professional colleges. Because the general members of the GAKUVED and OBC cannot think of the fees when they are half fed.

In another incident as CM, Mr. Parrikar has manipulated Population Survey of ST community getting drastically reduced figures of Gawadas, Kunbis & Velips as 12% of Goa's population. At the time of conducting population survey, GAKUVED members had objected for the way survey was conducted.

GAKUVED questions Mr. Parrikar: has he ever met the affected tribal people who are struggling to protect their livelihood? Has he ever shown them sympathy and expressed his Solidarity? The villagers of Colomb cannot think any other activity then to safeguard their livelihood, preserve their agriculture, plantations and their village. We know it is not Mr. Parrikar who is charging the villagers as naxalites but behind him is strong mining lobby.

The mining lobby has tried to break the unity of the Colomb villagers by applying all the means. The mining lobby has even tried their means to dissuade GAKUVED from helping and supporting the Colomb villagers by offering unexpected perquisites but failed in all the ways. And, therefore, they have brought Mr. Parrikar to make allegations against our Co-ordinator Shri Sebastian Rodrigues as naxalite and to penalize and crush our movement. But GAKUVED warns mining lobby that this effort also will be failure because neither GAKUVED nor Shri Sebastian Rodrigues is involved in any such activities. GAKUVED has started the movement within the framework of the Constitution. GAKUVED has always respected the Constitution and prevailing laws and will work within the framework of the Constitution.

GAKUVED will always remain steadfast in its support to people fighting Land and Mining issues at all cost without paying heed to either fascist Mr. Manohar Parrikar or terrorist mining industry in Goa.

Pandurang Kukalkar

You may also read protest poem against tagging as Naxalite by Pravin Sabnis here.