20 Oct 2019  |   05:32am IST

'Amkam Naka Marina', say locals

Over the last few months, locals, panchayats and the fishing community have opposed the proposed marina project in Nauxim bay. They have met the Chief Minister and other authorities, conveying why they believe the project is a threat to nature and their livelihoods. Whereas the Marina project proponents say it will benefit the State DHIRAJ HARMALKAR shares the views of both sides
'Amkam Naka Marina', say locals

Voices against 

The Goenchea  Raponn-karancho Ekvott (GRE) are among those strongly opposing the  Nauxim marina project.

Along with  Old Cross Canoe Association Owners Co-operative Society ltd, Baina Ramponnkar, Fishing Canoe Owners Society and Desterro Fisherman’s Association, GRE recently submitted their objection to North Goa Collector, R. Menaka, demanding that the November public hearing  be cancelled. They also called for a fresh draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) as they claim the existing draft was prepared without a Goa Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) and that it was in violation of EIA notification of 2006.

Simoes alleged that MPT behaves like an independent State and that it has no right to lease out the entire 1.5 lakhs sq mts water spread area of village Cacra without any prior permission from the local administration to M/s Kargwal Constructions Private limited.  Simoes added that to build India’s first biggest marina, dredging for the berths and channel will be conducted in large quantity of almost more than  3,00,000 m3 and that such a mega project will completely destroying the entire bay of Nauxim beach. 

“It’s an ecologically sensitive area as several reports of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, stated that the entire Zuari estuary in which Nauxim bay is situated is rich in marine biodiversity, consisting of more than 186 aquatic species, and other costal ecosystems,” said Simoes.

“Sancoale and Chicalim areas are biodiversity heritage sites as it’s a breeding ground for the windowpane oysters (scientifically known as placuna placenta and locally known as ‘menddio’).The ‘menddio’ have long been declared as endangered and designated as scheduled species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and fall within the impact radius of 10km,” he added. 

Verodiana D’sousa, Sarpanch of Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim said she is supporting the public and that the locals would fight it  tooth and nail. She added that most of the village population is dependent on the self-sustaining fishing activity. 

Another panch of the same panchayat, Maria Leena Da Cunha, further pointed out that the project has been opposed at the panchayat’s gram sabha meetings and via protest rallies held by the locals.

“In the year 2010, the same marina project was opposed. In 2015, it  was opposed again and now in 2019, it’s being pushed on us when we don’t want it” DaCunha added. 

Panch of Nauxim panchayat, Krishna Kankonkar said around 90% of the population from Orxel to Agassaim is dependent on traditional fishing and that the traditional fisherman will suffer if the project becomes a reality. 

He added that there will be seawater pollution due to the number of boats handling at the Marina.  

He also poked holes about the promise about educated and good skilled locals getting jobs and questioned what will happen to the senior citizens and fishermen.

“Why do we need jobs given by some project developers when traditional fishermen are happy with their activities, which are self sustaining for them” said Kankorkar. 

He further mentioned that the Nauxim village coastline houses rare species of oysters and fishes and that the area is the breeding ground for various fish species, which will be in danger if the marina project materializes. 

He added that all the yacht boats won’t fit in Nauxim, and a result of which, the remaining boats will have to be parked at nearby coastal areas and thereby hindering the fishing activity in those areas too. 

Zilla Parishad Member Suresh Palkar, reiterated that a majority of the population from Nauxim and nearby villages are dependent on fishing community.  He also added that 80 percent of the people are from the ST community. 

Further, he stated that villages such as Cacra, Nauxim, Orxel, Bambolim are purely fish breeding zones and that there are almost  300 species of fishes at this stretch. 

“1.5 lakh sq mts water spread area will get affected by the project and the fishing community will not only have no place to go. There are high chances of displacement of the houses of locals,” Palkar added. 

“Since year 2010, I have been opposed this project, even during the tenure of former CM Digambar Kamat. During the tenure of former CM (late) Manohar Parrikar’s government in 2015, we had shown the red signal to the same project. Now it is being pushed by the central government. As per the rule, the EIA has to be done by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), which however was given to another institution. Once again we will meet Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and convey our opposition to the project, “he added. 


Voices in favour

The project proponents say the marina has a lot to offer the local people, region and Goa in toto. The Marina is envisaged to accommodate of 239 boats on the northern bank of the Mormugao Bay, on the opposite side of the MPT.  It’s designed to accommodate small boats, with space to accommodate two larger 50m length yachts.
Stating that it will be an ISO standard, clean, green and pollution-free marina, AHOY Marina, project general manager-engineering Shridhar Kori, said the marina is a service industry, boat repairing service that provides servicing, maintenance and ensures the safety of boats parked in the facility. 
“AHOY Marina will provide international standard yacht parking, yacht repair and maintenance including minor repairs, etc (also for local boats), Yacht club, dry docking using 600MT travel hoist, environmentally friendly boat fuelling without spillage (also for local boats), OEM specialized services, yacht school, catering, laundry services for sailors, wooden boat construction, international yacht racing, venue for international conferences and sailing events,” he added.
Kori added that the State will earn revenue from its taxes on all services offered by the Marina. 
“There will be a steady growth in economy over a wide spectrum from tourism for every group of tourists, whoever has a genuine interest in marine life, boats, and water sports. There will be increased employment opportunities of both direct and indirect employment under marine and hospitality services provided for employment for Goans. It will have repair, fuelling and maintenance of locally owned boats in an ecologically friendly manner,” he added.
“Marina project will put Goa on the international yachting circuit. There will be first-of-its-kind marine education and skill development centre in the country, sailor education for fishermen with international certification for skill. Worldwide promotion of Goan culture will take place. This will also create way for creating avenues for organising events viz boat shows at an international level. Improvement of the area under corporate social responsibility on an ongoing basis will also take place,” Kori added.
Reacting to the opposition from loacls, Kori said his team had visited  around 15 nearby panchayats.
“Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) was sent to the panchayats via the government about this project. Special booklets even translated in Konkani language were also sent to panchayats to give information about these projects. There were several meetings taken with the panch members of various panchayats about the benefits of this ‘green project’, which is completely non-polluting” said Kori.
Project Director of AHOY Marina project, Col. Milind Prabhu, said  they are open for any discussions, debate and are ready to satisfy people’s queries about the project, which  will boost tourism, employment generation and provide other benefits to the locals.  He added that it’s a blue green enterprise, which is compatible to coastal environment.
Prabhu added that the Solid waste generated will be collected and transferred to the approved municipal SWM facility of Goa. 
“As there is no combustion process involved, there will not be any emissions. The “Zero Waste Objectives” will be the basis to establish Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP).The liquid waste will be managed for no disposal condition and the solid waste be managed off site in approved facilities. Thus, the proposed ETP will perform as Zero Liquid Discharge Plant” Prabhu stated.
He added that the development of marina shall pave the way to direct and indirect employment opportunities in the village. “Nauxim shall be identified as a tourism destination. The development shall also lead to development of ancillary industries in the village. The village shall gain revenue as taxation. There shall be development in the infrastructural facilities like roads jetty etc. Development in the fishing activity as there would be development and maintenance of jetty, market would be available at the door step, availability of fuel for the trawlers shall be easy,” he added.  
He added that the youth can acquire knowledge on yacht training, maintenance and repairs etc. “They can get trained in skilled professions through the marina’s sailing school, get some experience working for the marina, and then go abroad and do the same job at a much, much higher salary,” he said. 
He stated that pollution levels in the village shall be kept in check due to periodic monitoring. “ AHOY will also devise an exclusive Corporate Social Responsibility plan to improve upon the social infrastructures and progressively contribute to the social growth of the fishermen community around the project location,” he added. 


Idhar Udhar