Herald: Fishermen protest national shipping corridor proposal; burn effigy of Modi

Fishermen protest national shipping corridor proposal; burn effigy of Modi

31 Oct 2018 06:40am IST
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31 Oct 2018 06:40am IST

Protestors allege Modi government has diluted all the environmental-friendly policies and introduced policies which are anti-environment and anti-people

Team Herald


VASCO: National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) on Tuesday staged a protest at Khariwado, Vasco over the proposed shipping corridor in all the coastal States, from Kutch to Kanyakumari. 

NFF members burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming that he has no right to receive the highest environmental honour and be called as champion of The Earth Award.

The protestors alleged that Modi and his government have diluted all the environmental-friendly policies and introduced policies which are anti-environment and anti-people.

The protestors also strongly condemned Modi and Nitin Gadkari, the Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping, for approving Sagarmala project in Goa and others states. 

“The BJP-led government is all out to privatise our rivers, sea and coastline for the benefit of a handful of private companies and thereby completely destroying our fragile ecology and all those coastal communities,” Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott President Agnelo Rodrigues said.

“The government is going all out to implement the Sagarmala project in Goa against the wish of the people. Firstly, by including six rivers in the National Waterways Act, 2016; secondly, by giving autonomy to Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) by enacting the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016; thirdly, by diluting the CRZ notification of 2011 in the form of draft CRZ 2018 notification; fourthly, by proposing 4-lane coastal road from Canacona to MPT; fifthly, by doubling of railway line from Hospet to MPT; and finally, by demolishing the houses of fishermen at Baina, proposing four expansion projects at MPT, increasing coal handing and finally by proposing the designated corridor for merchant ships which will be a final nail in the coffin of 80,000 fishermen of Goa and 3 crore fishermen in India,” NFF said.

Rodrigues said that the plan for shipping corridor would be a dedicated navigational channel, which would facilitate free movements of capsize vessels into MPT Port. The Director General of Shipping (DGS) is in the process of notifying a designated corridor for merchant ships to avoid collision of ships and fishing boats at sea.

Rodrigues said that that if the shipping corridor is notified, then, thousands of fishing boats and canoes will be completely debarred from the notified areas. This, he said, would completely displace the fishermen from their traditional fishing areas. 

Therefore, he said, the NFF demands that the prime minister immediately withdraw all Sagarmala projects and withdraw any moves on notifying shipping corridor.

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