The decision to unseal the structures other than the office premises of Mobor Fisheries has raised the hackles of the people in the area
Margao: The decision to seal the premises of Mobor Fisheries, a boat repair and fish unloading dock, in Cavellosim for operating without Consent to Operate from the Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has evolved into a full-blown controversy. This, after the Scientist of GSPCB Jenica Sequera issued directions to the Collector to unseal the structures other than the office premises within the property.
On 8th November, the GSPCB issued an order directing M/s Mobor fisheries located on Survey Number 107/1 in Cavellosim to “stop operations of your unit with immediate effect”. The Order was based on an inspection carried out by the GSPCB which had observed that Mobor Fisheries had not obtained consent for carrying out the activities of construction and repair of trawlers/boats. In addition huge quantum of solid waste comprising of fibre waste, plastic etc was dumped in the premises and also being burnt and that there were insufficient sanitation facilities for the workers employed and residing in the area.
On 27th November, the Collector sent a team of officers to seal the premises based on the directions of GSPCB. However, the Awal Karkun had sealed only the office premise. The next day, based on the Collectors directions, all the structures of Mobor Fisheries in the property were sealed.
Interestingly, on the 27th a letter was submitted in the GSPCB by the Power of Attorney Holder of Mobor Fisheries, Miguel Rodrigues, wherein he stated that the officials had “sealed Mobor fisheries and sealed the store of fish”. He further states that “except the office, other premises are not related to the above (boat building) activities” and therefore requested not to seal his office, mundkaral house and stores.
The same day, the scientist of GSPCB, Jenica Sequiera issued an order to the collector requesting him to seal only the office premises and not the houses or storerooms wherein no activity of boat repair. On 29th November, the structures that were sealed just a day before were unsealed.
Iris Passainha of Cavelosim Village Forum alleges the GSPCB colluded with Miguel Rodrigues and modified the Order. “How can the officials of GSPCB seal only part of the premises when all the structures including the open space were used for the unauthorised activities? When GSPCB officials had inspected the site, they did not mark which structure was used by Mobor fisheries and which were not since all of them were used for the activities which did not have consent to operate. Based on just one handwritten letter by Miguel Rodrigues, the GSPCB concluded that only the office is used for boat building and the stores where all the barrels of paint and chemicals are stored and the rooms where all their labour live are not part of boat building. This is clear case of corruption”, said Passainha.
Shamila Monteiro, the Member Secretary of GSPCB, informed that there are other activities being carried out at the premises such as net mending or vessels being docked does not come within their preview. “How can we seal something that is not pertaining to boat building yard. Only that which is connecting to boat building yard requires the consent”.
Monteiro’s response doesn’t explain how the GSPCB, without any evidence or inspection report, came to a conclusion that only the office was used for the boat building activities while other structures are used for net mending and storage of fish. But this is not the first time GSPCB has got itself into such a controversy. Earlier this year, GSPCB had ordered the sealing of the hotel Furtados Guest House in Sernabatim but then ordered the sealing of only the office and not the 25 rooms.