Reiterates that signing of MoU will give powers back to State;
IWAI focuses on smooth navigation in rivers
PORVORIM: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar once again laid all apprehensions to rest on the river issue, stating that as per the Constitution the Centre has no authority over Fisheries and it cannot make any law in that regard.
“Indian Waterways Act was passed in Parliament in 2016 and State has no jurisdiction, but signing the MoU with Indian Waterways Authority of India will give us our rights back,” Parrikar said, replying to a three-hour-long debate in the Assembly.
Clarifying further, Parrikar said that the Centre cannot enter 12 kms inside the State waters. He further denied the rivers are being nationalised. “I strongly oppose the word nationalisation. The control of water bodies that are declared as national waterways is limited to promotion and development of shipping and navigation as per the Inland Waterways Act,” he stated, adding that this is the answer which was given in the Rajya Sabha to former Congress MP Shantaram Naik.
He added, “As per the Constitution of India, water, water supply, irrigation, canals, embankments, water, power are state subjects.”
Parrikar continued, “Entry 21 of List 2 of Constitution of India says that Fisheries is a state subject and no Central Act can take this aspect over.” Hence, Parrikar said, the people must not misguide fishermen. “Water and fisheries are subjects the Centre cannot make any law on,” he said.
Quoting Goa Fisheries Rule 1981, Parrikar explained that the 37-year-old rule also says that all fishing stakes must not obstruct navigational channels.
Parrikar said that the IWAI mostly focuses on the smooth navigation in the waterways and not control fishing as is being said. (see table on Pg 1)
He said that the MoU signed with IWAI and MPT will give the State more teeth. “I have forcefully put a clause using all force and influence I have at Centre which makes it mandatory for MPT and IWAI to seek state government and CoP permission for any development being carried out,” he stated. (see table for MoU highlights on Pg 1)
+ Any development work commenced by Fisheries Department for development of fisheries infrastructure shall be exempted from Captain of Ports (CoP) dues and any other dues which may be imposed by CoP or IWAI
+ NoC for fishing related infrastructure will be issued by CoP as such development works will not require IWAI approval provided development carried out does not create hindrance for smooth navigation in the national waterways
+ Parties agree that right over all rivers, river beds, river banks existing infrastructure on riverine will be vested with CoP and government of Goa as before
+ CoP will be free to carry out independently any infrastructure development in national waterways and there is no permission required
+ Ensure unrestricted development and utilisation of national waterways by regulating the existing fishing activities
+ View of local fisherman shall be taken before finalisation of site for development by CoP and IWAI
+ Government of Goa will identify and propose development projects in rivers and the same will be financed by IWAI and executed by MPT taking into consideration the technical financial and public sensitivity of the state into account
+ IWAI and MPT will implement projects in the rivers in agreement of GoG