Monday, February 8, 2010

Press Release from Pachwadi Bachao Samiti


c/o Christev D'Costa (Ex-Sarpanch),

Vizor, Panchawadi,

Ponda Taluka, Goa

Date : 6/2/2010


This is apropos to the news article which appeared in some local dailies on 5th Feb 2010 suggesting that the villagers of Panchawadi want mining roads, ore storage yards and loading jetties to be located in our village. The villagers of Panchawadi strongly condemn this malicious and false report and place the correct facts before you as follows.

Firstly, as pointed out in the article itself, the supporters of the mining company number only about 70. The remaining population of more than 4,000 villagers is completely opposed to the proposed mining activities in our village. The mining company may buy a few persons with promises, especially those who have nothing to lose since they do not even live in our village, but they can never buy the majority of Panchawadkars. It is extremely unethical that as the majority struggle for the survival of the village, such false and malafide news reports are being placed before the public, and shows the extent to which the mining company is prepared to go in order to succeed in its plans for the destruction of Panchawadi.

Secondly, the spokesperson of the supporters of the mining company quoted in the article was always in the forefront to oppose the mining activities in the past. His sudden reversal of stand can only be attributed to unethical means being adopted by the mining company, but does not change the fact that the majority is against the proposed mining activities.

Thirdly, the ridiculous argument that the mining road is going to make it easier for medical emergencies to be attended to has no basis. In fact, not only will the mining traffic disrupt all other traffic, it shall also cause many more medical emergencies than we have today.

Finally, the said news article has been engineered by the mining company with the specific purpose of destroying the democratic processes at the Panchayat level. In fact, over the past 15 years, Gram Sabha resolutions have been taken on six occasions opposing mining activities in our village. We have seen now that with the taking over of the said mining company by a British Company, the company's efforts have increased in urgency and intensity. The mining company is presently trying to somehow overturn all the earlier Gram Sabha resolutions, and to portray that the villagers want mining activities in the village. In order to accomplish this, the mining company seems prepared to go to any extent.

Panchawadi is a unique village in the entire State of Goa, as it is endowed with about 100 Has of Mangrove forests and khazans, 200 Has of Command area served by a dedicated dam at Moissal, large forests and unending cashew plantations. There is no doubt that this village is among the greenest villages in the entire State, which by itself should be enough reason not to allow its destruction. There is no doubt that the mining company's intentions are not only against the interests of the villagers, but are also extremely dangerous to the ecological balance of the entire State.

The villagers of Panchawadi therefore reiterate their demand that the proposed mining activities in Panchawadi be completely dropped, and also declare that under no circumstances shall we allow the nefarious plans of the mining company to succeed. We also advise officials, politicians, reporters and others to accept the reality that we shall never allow this ill-conceived project to materialize. We pray to our fellow countrymen to show their support for our cause in every possible way. In particular, the Sarpanch is holding a Gram Sabha today on 7/2/2010, where we invite all to come and observe the defense of Indian grass root democracy, and of our village.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,


Shri Christev D'Costa


Panchawadi Bachao Samiti

No comments: