Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ponsalimol Rock Carvings under mining threat

This photo Essay is made possible due to pictures received from Rivona team of - Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP). It is depicting mining threat to the historical site that has ancient rock carvings on the banks of Kushavati River.
The site is preyed by mining companies; on the one side is existing mine in operation bearing T.C. Number 14/1952 of Badruddin Mavani but operated by Radha Timblo covering 100 hectares of land that is involved in dumping of mining overburden on the Kushavati river banks under the direct approval of its all the illegalities by the Mines Minister who is also the current Chief Minister of Goa.
The second mines that is threatening is presently not in operation but has pit of its own. It was in operation till 10 years ago. It belongs to Damodar Mangaljis bearing T.C. No. 84/1953 covering 82 hectares. The company has put in place its boundary with new coloured poles that signifies the preparation of the company to re-start the mining here in near future.
This site in Ponsalimol is recognised by Goa Government's Archeology department but remains largely neglected. There is not even proper shelter for its staff to protect from monsoon rains.
The site that comes within Rivona Panchayat jurisdiction and in Colamb village that has 23 mining leases is frequented by large number of history, culture, archeology enthusiasts.

The site has concentration of rock carvings right on the banks of Kushavati River.
The interpretations are still being being arrived at and no settled views on the same. Debates are still going on the meaning of these carvings.
Common sense view looks senses these carvings as those of wild animals, birds, humans in various posses, fishing implements and many more.
The dense location of the carvings are visible...

Damodar Mangalji's abandoned mine near the Rock carvings. preparations are going on to get this activated again. Mining industry hardly care for the Rock carvings and Historical Heritage. All that it cares for is profits, that too profits at all costs - human, heritage, culture, mountains, water, agriculture, bio diversity, settlements, wildlife and number of other priceless and valued things.

This - above - is a shelter for the official protectors of this valuable historical site!
This is a government of Goa's board directing towards the Rock Carvings. Visit this site in Colamb, Rivona Panchayat jurisdictions before it is blocked and destroyed for mining of Iron ore or Manganese from the ground.
Sebastian Rodrigues

1 comment:

Mervyn Lobo said...

The question I have is: Does this generation have what it takes to save these petroglyphs for the future generations?

The second question is:
Does anyone know if these carvings were supposed to be covered with grass and uncovered only for the priests/leaders to study?