Minister Alina & fishermen oppose Marinas in Goa

PTI, PANAJI | 30 April 2015 19:07 IST

Goa Government's recent clearance to an investment proposal for setting up a marina in Nauxi and similar plans by Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) for Sancoale village have evoked strong resentment among local fishermen who fear the project will pollute Zuari river and ultimately affect their livelihood.

State Investment Promotion Board approved the proposal by a private company to set up a marina at Nauxi, while MPT has expressed its desire to have a similar project at Sancoale--both on Zuari river bank.

Traditionally, fishermen have been harvesting fish varieties including oysters.

The fishermen said they had exclusive rights to the seabed and the marina would damage their business.

"Our opposition is not for the sake of opposition. We have a valid reason for it. Once you set up marinas at Sancoale and Nauxi, the entire river bed would be polluted.

The fishing activity will cease to exist," said Agnelo Rodrigues, a leader of fishermen community who heads the organisation 'Goenchya Ramponkarancho Ekvott'.

Rodrigues claims that there are at least one thousand fishermen who eke out their living from the river bed.

"You have to look around there and you will find innumerable fishermen...more than one thousand in number," he said.

The proposal for setting up marinas has divided the ruling BJP, with the environment minister Alina Saldanha and a party MLA Vishnu Wagh openly expressing their opposition to the project.

"I will not (allow) marina to come up at any cost. My opposition for marina continues," Saldanha told PTI.

Her views were echoed by Wagh, who has vowed to fight against the marinas as they fall in his constituency St Andre.

"People have decided to fight till the last. They will not allow marinas to come up," Wagh said, adding he was surprised over the investment proposal getting clearance from government.

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