Thursday, July 24, 2008

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.

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