PANAJI: The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), national level body spearheading the cause of fisherfolk and coastal communities on Saturday questioned the intention of Union Shipping and Ports Minster Nitin Gadkari to convert Goa’s coastline into an international seaport, making Goa a port hub and bringing Special Economic Zone (SEZ) back in Goa, reports The Hindu.
“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,” warned vice-president of NFF Olencio Simoes in a press note issued here.
He further said that the carrying capacity of Goa’s coastline is already saturated and about 20% of the 105 km of Goa’s coastline has been affected by erosion.
“Apart from Goa’s beaches, the Colvale area in North Goa and river Talpona in South Goa has already seen humungous erosion,” said Mr. Simoes and warned Mr. Gadkari to refrain from making statements without knowing the ground reality,” said the press release.
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(NIPM).
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.