Locals rise up against Chapora river project

Yet another example of the locals not wanting the so-called- development that has been proposed by the government. It is very clear that this will not only affect the livelihoods of local fishermen but will also be detrimental to the ecology.



Stating that the proposed Chapora river project is detrimental to the interest of the local people, residents of Tembwada, Varnawada, Chapora, Camurlim and Parsem on Sunday reiterated their opposition to the project and vowed not to allow the project under any condition. The decision was taken at meeting at Tembwada-Morjim, which was attended by a large number of residents from Temwada, Varnawada, Chapora, Camurlim and Parsem. Morjim Sarpanch Seema Sangle, Panch Nilesh Shetgaokar, GPCC vice-president Babi Bagkar, NCP vice-president Rajan Satlekar, block president Rohidas Arolkar, former Morjim sarpanch Anuradha Marje, ex-sarpanch of Parsem Gurudas Pande, social worker Devendra Prabhudessai, fisherman Vinod Pernekar, Morjim Taxi Association president Sanjay Kole, Amrut Agarwadekar and Sachin Parab attended the meeting. On the occasion, Chapora Bachav Samiti was formed and its first meeting will be convened at Chapora fish market on June 11 at 5 pm. The speakers at the meeting said the proposed project is detrimental to the interest of local people and it will affect

fishing activities and other occupations. Speaking at the meeting, Pernem Swabhiman organization president Devendra Prabhudessai said: “Laxmikant Parsekar is the son of Pernem and chief minister of Goa. He should have taken the local people into confidence before bringing the project of such a magnitude which will be detrimental to the local interest.” “People from Pernem are not against the project. Even we are for development, but if government tries to bring a project which is not favourable to us, then we will fight tooth and nail to oppose it,” warned Prabhudessai. In his speech, Babi Bagkar said people of Pernem are not against development. “Tourism trade must grow, but while taking any decision on eco-tourism local people and the local panchayat should be taken into,” he added. “There are no tourist facilities of any kind along the Chapora coast since last 52 years. The government should provide changing rooms, toilets, bathrooms and parking facilities at the coast. The government is trying to bring eco-tourism only to benefit some people,” alleged Bagkar. Hitting out at the government for trying to mislead the people by showing a film on eco-tourism, youth Congress leader Sachin Parab said the government should study what the people from Pernem really wants. “If government wants to appease people from Delhi by bringing such a project, then we will oppose it till the last,” said Parab. Rajan Satlekar alleged that “The government is doing nothing to extend tourist trade at Morjim, Ashvem, Man drem, Harmal and Keri-Tiricol beaches. It had an eye on Chapora river and wants to bring casinos through the back door.” Morjim Sarpanch Seema Sangle said: “If local people don t want the project in Chapora river, then the panchayat will be with them.”

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