PANJIM: Hundreds of Goans on Sunday held a peaceful bike rally against the proposed draft jetty policy, which they claimed is a backdoor entry to usurp Goa’s waters and adjoining land for corporations to make short-term profits by destroying the State’s fragile ecosystem.
They protestors said people will draft their own tourism jetty policy and submit it to the government for implementation.
It is pertinent to note that October 31 is the last to submit suggestions and objections.
The opposition MLAs, environmental activists and concerned citizens came together at Azad Maidan and burnt the copy of draft jetty policy.
The bike rally culminated in a candle march wherein the citizens raised their voice against nationalization of rivers, Sagarmala project and Mormugao Port limit jurisdiction.
The protestors reiterated that the government was coming out with the jetty policy to facilitate coal transportation through State’s waterways and to provide backdoor entry to crony capitalists. They pledged to stay united and vowed to put on a joint fight against the government’s anti-people policies.
Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao, Revolutionary Goans Party MLA Viresh Borkar, AAP MLA Cruz Silva and Venzy Viegas, GPCC president Amit Patkar were among the concerned citizens who participated in the protest.
The citizens have been protesting against the policy as they feel it will allow privately owned jetties in rivers without any environmental/socio-economic considerations.
They claimed that the policy is vague and is drawn without taking any stakeholders into confidence. They said the Tourism Department has not put in any effort to create awareness on the policy at village level.
Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao said it is the River Navigation Department which has the right to come out with the jetty policy and not the Tourism
He questioned the Tourism Department’s intention behind drafting a jetty policy, which is not within their ambit.
He said the Pramod Sawant-led government is trying to sabotage voices of people and forcing faulty and anti-people polices.
MLA Viresh Borkar said if the jetty policy materialises then it will lead to destruction of fish-breeding sites, which will have a direct impact on the livelihood of traditional fishermen.
He questioned why the villagers and more particularly the fishermen and traditional communities were not taken into confidence while drafting the policy?
He asked why were villagers not asked what are their needs before going ahead with the policy?
MLA Cruz Silva said the opposition needs to stand united for the people of Goa.
His colleague, MLA Venzy Viegas said the people will draft their own tourism jetty policy and submit it to the government for implementation.