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Move to convert Goa’s coastline into international seaport opposed

The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), a national-level body spearheading the cause of fisherfolk and coastal communities, on Saturday questioned the intention of the Union Shipping and Ports Minster Nitin Gadkari to convert Goa’s coastline into an international seaport, making Goa Port Hub and bringing Special Economic Zone(SEZ) back in Goa.

“We are categorically warning the Union Minister and the State government not to go ahead with any such proposal from the Centre, which will destroy our coastline of 105 km,” said vice-president of NFF Olencio Simoes in a press note here.

He further said that the carrying capacity of Goa’s coastline is already saturated and about 20% of the 105 km has already been affected by erosion.

“Apart from Goa’s beaches, the Colvale area in North Goa and river Talpona in South Goa has already seen humongous erosion,” he said and warned Mr. Gadkari to refrain from making statements without knowing the ground reality.

Giving a pan India picture of the coastal erosion, the NFF said that out of 7,516.6 km coastline in the country, 42% of the coast has already been washed away and the main cause is the unplanned ports/harbors, which are also documented by National Institute of Port Management.

Mr. Simoes also objected to the Minister’s statement in Goa on Friday that he has plans developed a SEZ for tourism as well as the trade from Vengurla to Karwar.

Mr. Olencio said that Goa has highest population density of 450 people per sq. km as against 150 for the all-India average. In this context, giving away land from Goa’s scarce land resource for nationalisation of rivers, double railway line, new international sea ports, SEZ and so on are not acceptable to the people.
Source: The Hindu

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