Friday, April 30, 2010
here we go with yet another mega con-scheme on the part of the Goan
Government in the making!
Look at the cost of doing this techno-feasibility study paid to the
consultant – a whopping Rs. 8 crores! The Goa Government will then
take the decision to go ahead with this mega-monstrosity of this
sea-link project Rs. which is supposed to be a 1000–plus crore
project! Now have the people of Goa been consulted on what they want?
Well who cares for the wishes of the common man and woman in Goa
nowadays? No wonder these pariah dogs, hyenas, vultures and parasites
and their cronies are smacking their lips in anticipation of the great
feast that lies ahead at the cost of the common man in Goa.
What about the effects on the marine and sealife that will be affected
by this project? Well if the Goan Government doesn't care for the
common man in Goa where would they be bothered with marine and sealife
or the Environment for that matter?
Leave alone giving the common man and our Goan villages the basic
infrastructure and basic amenities like health facilities, education,
sanitation, garbage disposal, drinking water, electricity and proper
transportation and roads – these basic necessities are unheard of for
the Goan Government. All the Goan Government cares is for hoisting
schemes like this sea-link scheme, casinos, mining and real estate
projects with scope for even greater kickbacks!
While the MPT Chairman Agarwal is all set to make Goa the rest and
recreation grounds for the libido of the US armed forces, there our
Goa Government is all set to have this sea-link in place to cater to
their hidden agendas in their grand scheme of affairs!
Talk about sustainable development and providing the basic
infrastructure for the common man in Goa. This is a concept alien and
foreign to our Goa Government.
Do they even care for the common man?
Please read the latest update from the Herald.
Vasco-Dona Paula sea-link feasibility study begins
PANJIM, APRIL 29
Louis Berger, the German company that recently bagged the contract for
undertaking techno-feasibility study for the proposed sea-link project
between Vasco and Dona Paula, has started its work.
“The consultant has begun work and an office has been set up somewhere
in Dona Paula,” said Director of Public Private Participation (PPP)
Cell Anupam Kishore.
He told Herald that as per the terms and conditions of the contract,
altogether 18 months is the period within which the consultant will
have to complete its work.
He said the work would be taken up in three phases. In the first
phase, the company will work on the techno-feasibility study.
Only if the Rs 1000-plus crore project is feasible, then the
consultant will move to the next phase, Kishore said. Otherwise, it
would be abandoned.
The consultant which was appointed earlier this month, has been asked
to conduct techno-environmental financial study, concept design,
technical feasibility with alignment, investigation and financial and
economic feasibility. Later, it will also have to undertake
environmental impact assessment, environmental clearances and social
impact assessments. The consultant will be required to prepare the bid
documents for appointment of BOOT (build, own, operate and transfer)
operator and concession agreement, etc.
Kishore who also doubles up as Joint Secretary (Debt Management) said
the consultant would also identify the point on the Panjim side where
the project would link.
Though initially, the government had said that the sea-link would be
between Dona Paula and Vasco, discussions held since then, seem to
have taken one line – that it should be in Bambolim so that it links
the national highway (NH17). Nonetheless, the consultant is expected
to give in detail, its analysis on the feasibility.
The techno-feasibility study will have to be completed in six months
and based on that report the government would take the final call.
The consultant’s fee is around Rs 8 crore. Kishore however said that
if the report says the project is not feasible then the company would
be paid only for the first phase. It may be recalled that there was a
good response from global consultants for the project. Firms from
Singapore, Hong Kong, and even Europe had sent in their bids which
ultimately the German company bagged.
This is the first major project conceived by the State government on PPP basis.
On whether the government has approached National Institute of
Oceanography (NIO) before going ahead with the proposal for sea-link,
PPP director said it would be the job of the company to consult NIO.
The estimated cost of the project will be more than Rs 1,000 crore. An
official said that 40 per cent of the total cost will be made
available by the Centre in the form of viability gap funding.
He said 20 per cent of the cost will be borne by the State government
while the remaining 40 per cent will be made available from private
sector investors. The consultant would also throw more light on how to
go about on the financial feasibility.
From: Shankar Raghunath Jog,
Phone No.  2611499 & 2611032.
1. Objection for granting additional period of 2 years to M/s M. S. Talaulicar & Sons Pvt. Ltd., for removing of mining ore/rejection dumped in
2. Request to investigate irregularities committed by
1. Letter no. 4-GOB423/2007/1300 dated
2. Application dated
1. The Secretary,
Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO complex,
2. The Chief Conservator of Forests, Regional Office [South Zone],
Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of
Kendriya Sadan, 4th Floor, E&F Wings, 17th
3. The Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt. of
4. The Secretary (
Secretariat, Porvorim Goa.
In the above context, I have to bring to your kind notice as follows:
1. In accordance with Lease Deed dated 11-7-1979 between M/s M.S.Talaulicar & Sons Pvt. Ltd., [presently represented by legal heirs and hereinafter called the “lessee”] and the President of India [represented by Collector of Goa and hereinafter called “lesser”], a plot admeasuring 12.9768 Ha. was leased for five years for dumping mining rejections. This plot falls in Survey No. 23/1 of village Darbandora, Taluka Sanguem,
2. The lessee had dumped rejection in this plot, probably during the tenure of this lease. In the concerned file made available to the undersigned,
a) No record of total quantity or dump wise quantity of rejection dumped is available with the authorities.
b) No plan of this plot and dumps made there, drawn during the tenure of lease, is available with the authorities.
c) No record of any activity by the lessee in this plot for last 25 years [from 1984 to 2009] is available with the authorities.
3. The lease was for period of 5 years, ended in 1984, and hence is not subsisting presently.
4. The lessee, by letter dated 1-10-2007 addressed to the Secretary, Ministry of Forests, Govt. of Goa, requested permission for removal of this rejection for upgrading to saleable grade ore, for the purpose of generation of employment, revenue to the State Exchequer, earn foreign exchange, etc.
5. Within a very short period of less than 2 months, permission was issued by the Dy. Conservator of
6. As witnessed by the undersigned, who resides close to this site, the ore/rejects were removed by the lessee during the months of October, November and December, 2009. No removal was done during year 2008 or January-September, 2009.
7. Under their letters dated
8. In accordance with a note issued by Dy. Conservator of
Further, it is the submission of the undersigned that:
9. In this case, Environmental Clearance is required, in accordance with Notification no. S.O. 1533 dated
10. Showing a dump occupying 4.9 Ha. is arbitrary. In fact, this is done to avoid/circumvent provisions EIA notification referred above. In the original request dated
11. The lease area of 12.9768 Ha. has to be considered, if at all it can be considered for removal of rejection, legally. Considering the area in parts is arbitrary and done to give undue advantage to the lessee which shows vested interest of those concerned.
12. There is no provision in the Lease Deed, to allow removal of rejection dumped.
13. After such a long period of more than 25 years, the lessee cannot claim ownership of dumped rejects legally and the Lease Deed has no provision to this effect and hence, it is a Govt. Property. Therefore, total value of removed rejects/ore should be deposited in Govt. treasury.
14. The lessee, in Form A referred above, has shown the quantity for removal as 50,000 tons. This is arbitrary as there is no record to show that this is correct. In fact, the undersigned has witnessed removal and transportation of ore/reject to the barge-loading point at Vagus (V.P.Palem,
15. The lessee claims that only 30% rejects is removed and 70% rejects is still lying there in this dump However, the fact is that only 5% reject is still lying there and 95% rejects are removed. . This can be verified by proper independent technical person at the site. The undersigned also has photos and videos taken on
16. As rightly noted by the Dy. Conservative of Forest, Monitoring & Evaluation [Goa Govt,], in his note dated 25-2-2010, “this seems this is the only case where the ore rejects/dumps was allowed for keeping/dumping in Forest area outside the lease and was permitted to be removed”. One can easily imagine the cause of this unusual approval.
17. This survey no.23/1 forms part of
18. The lessee has not demarcated the plot with cement concrete pillars, as per condition imposed while giving permission for removal of rejects.
19. The Dy. Conservator of
a) Area consists of artificially planted (mainly) Acacia & Cashew. If this area is planted artificially [apparently by no other than Forest Dept.], then how it is that the lessee claims that this area is devoid of any trees and barren ?
b) The forest area proposed for removal of rejects has been demarcated on the ground and the proponent has enclosed a detailed plan. However, no area is demarcated as seen and photographed by the undersigned on
20. All the trees are now cut and removed from this site. However, adjacent plots, where rejects was dumped, has natural growth of trees and one can visualize what would have been the natural growth in the plot from where rejects are removed.
21. The amount deposited by the lessee of Rs. 39,43,206/- works out to Rs. 78.86 per ton assuming there was only 50,000 tons of rejects. However, as stated above, nearly 2.5 lakhs tons rejects was removed and hence this cost works out to Rs. 15.77. This is meager considering that rate of ore exported is $ 130 i.e. Rs. 5,850/-. The lessee is thus making unreasonably huge profit, showing cost/benefit ratio as meager 4 by giving false information.
22. There is no mention of Royalty payable to State Exchequer, however royalty is payable as per MCR 60.
23. Violation of any condition of the approval by the lessee, approval stands automatically revoked. Condition for demarcating the land is already violated by the lessee and hence the approval granted stands revoked.
Therefore, the undersigned request you not to grant extension of further period of 2 years to the lessee, unless and until the issued raised above are solved legally, and Environmental Clearance is also granted under EIA notification referred above.
It is also brought to kind notice that in case permission is granted prior solving above issues and obtaining Environmental Clearance, the undersigned will be constrained to approach the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay at
I am ready to extend my full co-operation to any authority in this regards.
Kindly inform me your decision in the matter.
Shankar R. Jog
This was decided at the Front emergency meeting held on 28th April in their office at Quepem.
The FRONT, on 26th April submitted a memorandum to the P.I. Quepem Copy of which were also submitted to the S.P. South and the District Magistrate demanding action against the duo within 48 hours failing which the Front have warned that they will agitate/demonstrate before the Quepem Police Station, to see that Justice prevails and Rule of Law is maintained by the law enforcement authorities. The deadline of which expired on Wednesday morning.
In a press note issued by the Front Convenor Adv. Fredrek Pereria stated that though the offence of attacking at the police is very serious and cannot be taken lightly. However bowing to the pressured of the Front the Quepem Police headed by Sudesh Narvekar booked the duo under section 107 of Cr.P.C.(chapter case) that too without arresting the duo. The Front convener stated “this is eyewash just to pacify us.”
That being aggrieved by the inaction of the Quepem police to act against the duo, the Front members have decided to sit for a day long hunger strike in front of the Quepem police station from 9.00 to 5.00PM demanding arrest of the duo and justice to John Fernandes . They appeal to all mining affected people of Quepem to join the hunger strike.
24th April 2010
Goa Federation of Mines Affected People strongly condemns the physical assault on Journalist cum Lawyer John Fernandes in Quepem town yesterday April 23, 2010. Advocate John Fernandes was clicking photographs of mining trucks plying on roads involved in violating High Order on overloading when he and his another colleague Pobre Fernandes was attacked from behind, beaten up and his camera targeted by the goons attached to mining industry. John Fernandes was arrested after the assault under section 151 of CrPc.
This attack signifies rising menace of mining truck transporters taking law into their hands at the drop of their hat in order to suppress people exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression. GOAMAP demands that mischief of mining transporters be dealt with iron hand once and for all in Goa and attackers of Advocate John Fernandes be prosecuted.
GOAMAP also condemns arrest of Advocate John Fernandes. It is very shocking that Police involved in criminalizing law abiding citizens like John Fernandes and ignore constant violation of law by overloaded mining trucks plying under their nose.
GOAMAP takes serious note of this trend and demands serious action from Home Ministry as within one month this is a second incident where in a citizen involved in vigilance of mining industry was physically attacked. Earlier on March 29, 2010 Rama Velip was physically attacked at Damodar Mangalji mine, Colamb, Sanguem and his camera broken by two people involved in robbery of the ore there, one of them was a policeman attached to a Police Station in North Goa whose brother is involved in illegal ore transport.
Friday, April 23, 2010
According to the eyewitnesses a group of people in intoxicated state came to Quepem Police Station and shouted abuses against Advocate John Fernandes. This group was reportedly led by one Subhas Phaldessai, a mining transport contractor and former member of South Goa Zilla Parishad.
More details are awaited.
Post Script: Advocate John Fernandes has been released by Executive magistrate's order at 11.50 pm.
Mining, particularly in its mechanized version has caused enormous harm by drying up of water sources. Siltation of paddy fields has also reduced the soil fertility. This is a common sense that rulers of Goa as well as mining companies pretend not to understand. By this stand they have positioned themselves as enemies of Goa, its water sources as wells its people in engaged in paddy cultivation like Dument D'souza. They are like that nude King on horse back who thought that he was wearing best dress in the world till young boy told him the naked truth on his face!
Mining industry as well as the rulers of Goa behave as if they are permanently high flying illusion. They fail to understand that by continuing mining just because few companies make huge profits, they are actually doing something nasty - cutting their own legs of sustainability. If they refuse to get hints and get cracking further on mining industry in Goa then it is but certain that the rulers in Goa will have to bite mining dust in not too distant future.
Time for Goa's rulers is running out. It is running out very fast. It is ozzing out of every diesel pump that is set up on the mines in Goa. In fact, to be honest rulers of Goa are very pathetic lot. They are irrational. They have made money at the cost of Mother Earth for the past 60 years and still scheme how to do this further. For deep within they are hallow. They think that their police violence, goon violence, smart diplomacy to divert attention away from mining is going to keep them permanently in Power as ruling elements. Their beliefs are like a balloon bloated with hot air that will go burst with touch of a thorny tiny being. Poor pathetic guys leave in a make believe world and tearing apart beautiful world in the midst of western ghats with chirping birds, wandering panthers, roaring tigers, dancing butterflies, handsome cobras, croaking frogs, variety of fishes and majestic mountains and its people. Someone who can do this level of violence to living being has to be mentally ill. Cause of this illness has to be self-inflicted violence. Someone whose sense of compassion has hit rock bottom and has become addict of violence. All the mining companies and their cronies come into this category.
They have enslaved themselves through machinery and holding people and ecology captive. We need a medicine them them free from machines.
Yet, the last five days at Cochabamba and Bolivia at large, gives rise to some questions, if not discomfort. The President of the self-declared "pluri-national state" of Bolivia - Evo Morales Ayma, has declared that people of this world will henceforth determine the agenda of climate change discourse, and this unique world peoples conference is a bold step in that direction. But is Bolivia taking the right steps, turning in to the right path ?
The city of Cochabamba has less than one million residents, and yet the no. of cars-- big & huge cars -- on its roads is astounding. You can find single occupants in every third big car, and these are far in excess than the proportions seen even in the richest Indian city, and Bolivia is not a rich country -- even by Latin American standards!! Most cars run on gas - no doubt the cleanest of all the fossil carbon fuels, but the gas is very cheap - leading to large consumption, big driving around -- even by the middle class. This also helps keep the taxi fares cheap, but just money was never the concern in the crisis of climate change. The sheer number of trips just the 900,000 odd Cochabambans do every year would be putting in a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - and so unnecessarily. Most of the buses are old and ramshackle, and there are share taxis in fixed routes, which people prefer, again , a policy which cannot claim to be climate friendly.
The so-typical glass-concrete-aluminum buildings seen in any other capitalist metropolis is seen here in abundance also. The spread of glittering shopping malls is still not visible in a scale being seen in big Indian metros, but innumerable shops selling imported and unnecessary consumer goods in a great variety -- again an American consumerist trait - is an eyesore. Evo is an icon in the struggle against the capitalist system, but coca cola does unhindered business, even copied by local bottlers with "Coca Colla" selling from hand carts all around the market places.
While the many market places, including the mind-bogglingly large "La cancha" near the centre of Cochabamba are full of small shops run by small shop-keepers, the rule of dollars is seen every where. The goods bear an uncanny resemblance to things American -- whether original or copies, and the people feel so comfortable in "dealing in dollars"
The food consumption is glaringly dominated by very large amounts of meat, that too mostly beef (and pork). Both are known to be the worst food items in terms of their climate change impacts -- whether for energy consumption for producing the meat, for destruction of rich forest lands for industrial scale cattle farming, and for the huge water consumption and pollution from the cattle farming. yet, there was no sign that these are even on the radar of the Bolivian climate movement leaders.
Being a favorite tourist destination of Europeans and Americans, who come attracted by the Andean mountains, the unique Altiplano and the rich indigenous cultures, Bolivia has adopted all the evils of the consumerist, wasteful global north. Bottled water is staple drink -- along with bottled fruit juices. Even the poor seem to follow this strange economic logic, though the juice presses are still seen in some numbers in peripheral areas. The markets are flooded with american-company names, whether these came from those US companies or are local copies is the less important question - the cultural preference is very clear.
There are other questions about the mining policy, about the old tin mining that damaged the lake-planes, and the newly targeted Lithium mines. There are doubts about the Bolivian stand about market mechanisms as part of climate solutions -- and one sincerely hopes that these doubts prove unfounded.
A beginning on a concept level has been made by the visionary leadership of Evo. But a nation runs on its peoples cultural lives, and unless the new revolution being visualized comes down to the people on the ground in letter and spirit, it is hard to see any rael breakthrough. Great visions are those that transcends the rhetorical and can inspire spontaneous actions. That is yet to be seen in the fertile Bolivian grounds which inspirational was the last battle ground of Che .
Lets hope that the dream and the vision quickly overcomes the harsh realities, and this test will prove Evo to be a history maker -- or another one to try and wither away.
Soumya Dutta in Cochabamba, 22nd April, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
geoengineering tests, urge public to join in.
Cochabamba Bolivia. 21 April 2010 - On the eve of UN Mother Earth Day, over sixty
national and international organizations today threw their weight
behind a common statement launching a global campaign to prevent real
world deployment of geoengineering experiments.
Geoengineering refers to large-scale intentional tinkering with the
climate and earth systems to counteract global warming. The Hands
Off Mother Earth campaign (or H.O.M.E. campaign) regards such
geoengineering schemes as dangerous and unjust. It is urging
individuals and organizations to speak out in opposing them.
With rich governments and industrial interests jockeying for open-air
geoengineering tests it is time to draw a line that should not be
crossed. affirmed Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group, Mexico. Mother Earth
is our common home whose integrity should never be violated by
geoengineering experimentation - it should never be a laboratory for
these risky and unjust schemes.
Ben Powless of the Mohawk Nation (Canada) representing the Indigenous
Environmental Network explained:
"For too long our peoples' bodies and lands have been used to test new
technologies. Now, in response to climate change, these same people
want to put Mother Earth at risk with geoengineering technologies.
We can't afford to threaten our planet in this way, especially when
simple, just and proven solutions are at hand."
Ricardo Navarro, from CESTA, El Salvador speaking on behalf of Friends
of the Earth International, said:
"The same countries and companies that have neglected climate change
for decades, are now proposing very risky geoengineering technologies
that could further disrupt the weather, peoples and ecosystems. For
them geoengineering is a "perfect" excuse to claim they can keep on
heating the planet because later they will cool it off with dangerous
experiments. As global environmental movements, we cannot allow the
geoengineers to experiment with the planet and its peoples."
Launched in Cochabamba Bolivia at the Peoples Conference on Climate
Change and The Rights of Mother Earth, the H.O.M.E campaign features
an interactive website http://www.handsoffmotherearth.org where
individuals can lend a hand to the campaign, leaving messages and
uploading images of themselves. The site features a public portrait
gallery of individuals with open palms calling a halt to
geoengineering. This gallery is expected to swell as the focus of the
campaign moves from Cochabamba this week to upcoming UN talks
culminating in the next meeting of Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun Mexico in December. A
facebook group for the H.O.M.E. campaign has also been launched.
We do not need to test geoengineering because we know that it is a
fundamentally unjust technology asserted Pat Mooney, Executive
Director of ETC Group speaking at the campaign launch. Could you
imagine, in your wildest dreams, that the governments who have spent
decades denying or avoiding climate change; who have failed to meet
even the minimal requirements of the Kyoto Accord; who lack the
courage to tell their societies to change their lifestyles; have
either the integrity or the intellect to manipulate the oceans or the
stratosphere in any way that could be either environmentally-effective
or socially-equitable for the world? Should their hand be on the