AAP asks 11 Qns to BJP Govt on Sanguem Beer factory in an ‘orchard’

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 27 January 2016 20:54 IST

Aam Aadmi Party, after personally visiting the Beer factory project at Amdai in Sanguem, has alleged that the Investment Promotion Board has permitted a Red industry, which does not fall under its purview.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party government has permitted to cut coconut, cashew and mango trees to build a beer factory, AAP has also asked why the project was not allowed in the Sanguem Industrial Estate, which is hardly 4 kms from Amdai.

Three AAP leaders of led by National Secretary Pankaj Gupta along with Rajashree Nagarsekar and Ernesto Moraes visited the land at Amdai, which is marked as orchard in both – RP2001 as well as RP2021.

The AAP has thus posed 11 questions before the BJP-led government in clearing this controversial project of Vani Agro Farms, which is opposed by the local tribals.

1.    Considering that the unit will produce 70,000 litres of beer per day and therefore will require much larger quantity of water to be used, has there been any water usage assessment done? Considering that the Uguem river, which is only source of water supply to the local tribal population for irrigation and domestic purpose, goes almost dry during the summer season, will it not fall vulnerable to the needs of water of this unit? 

2.    The adjoining village of Valkini is also reeling under acute water shortage as villagers are supplied water only once a month to water sugarcane farms and largely depend on the Uguem River for their water needs. Has the impact on lives and irrigation due to acute water shortage been taken into consideration?

3.    Considering that such distillery units are fully automated, what sort of jobs will the project provide to the locals? We consider the claim of jobs by the project as fake unless proven.

4.    It has always been seen that irrespective of the mandate of the pollution control board, the effluent is discharged into the water body. What are the plans of this project towards zero discharge policy and for the treated water to be re-used in process/green belt development or any other use as deemed fit by the unit?

5.    What are the plans to dispose off the non-hazardous solid waste, inert material, leachate etc? How will it control the strong odour?

6.    It is pertinent to note that the affluent which is feared to be led into the river will hurt the religious sentiments of the villagers as located into the river is the Sangameshwar temple which is revered by the locals. How will the government justify or tackle this? 

7.    Why is such unit being set up in this place amidst several families and why not at the Sanguem Industrial Estate which is just about 4 kms from the site?

8.    The government needs to explain how it can ignore the fact that setting up of any factory would upset the livelihood of the tribals, who are bestowed the rights over water, land and forests (jal, jameen, jungle) under the Forests Rights Act, 2005?

9.    How does the government justify the destruction of huge numbers of coconut & cashew trees to make way for a beer factory? 

10.  The government also needs to explain how the IPB can clear the project while it does not have the mandate to clear an alcohol plant which comes under the ‘Red’ category, and can clear only an Orange category project? It is pertinent to note that the IPB notification clearing the Vani Agro Farms project in Sanguem classifies the project as ‘Green Field Grain based alcohol plant and brewery plant’. This clearly falls under B (24) of the MoEF guidelines which is followed by the Goa State Pollution Control Board as a Red industry. A red industry can be permitted under the IPB Act only if it is an “expansion” and not a green field project. Who gave IPB the mandate to clear a red industry?

11.  Lastly, how it can sanctify such an unconstitutional and draconian IPB act?

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