Hopeless Goan farmers believe Sesa Goa is to be more feared than terrorists

Bevanda Collaco

BEVINDA COLLACO (Goa, 2012-05-15)

No one is waiting with more anticipation for the monsoons than the people living around the giant Sesa Goa mining dump at Advai Nullah in Sattari. There are those who live in the direct path of the muddy torrents that will stream down this giant dump bringing silt and floods with it. They are already calculating how much compensation they will demand – and get – from Sesa Goa. Affected farmers say Sesa Goa should be ecstatic about the devastation the dump will cause once it collapses, because the ruined land can be used for further dumps. The farmers who have been running from pillar to post being ignored by government agencies and civil society of Goa, are now waiting and watching with sardonic humour for the silt from the giant dump to rush into the Mhadei river and then into the Mandovi. It is not a small amount of silt. Civil society will then have to sit up and take notice that damage to the pristine forest areas of the hinterland will have a domino effect on the entire state.


MONSTER DUMP 1.7 km long and 90 mts high
MONSTER DUMP 1.7 km long and 90 mts high

MONSTER DUMP 1.7 km long and 90 mts high


The Sesa Goa dump is the largest OB (Over Burden) Waste dump in Goa at Advai, in Sattari taluka. The dump is actually an almost 90-metre high hill which is 1.7 km long. This dump has blocked the natural stream or Advoi nullah which used to flow perennially and water the fields and orchards in the area. Now it flows during the monsoons thick with mining reject. It dries up completely in February. The dump consists of clay soil on which nothing grows except acacia which sucks up all the water in the area and destroys other trees in the vicinity. This, claims the troubled farmers, is also the game plan of the mining company, since once water in the area is depleted, the forest cover dwindles.

CONVERTED ADVAI NULLAH Now used as a series of settlin ponds

CONVERTED ADVAI NULLAH Now used as a series of settlin ponds


On the way to the Sesa Goa dump one sees the Chowgule dump partially covered by Acacia plants. An entire section of the Chowgule dump collapsed on itself.

CONVERTED ADVAI NULLAH Now used as a series of settlin ponds

CONVERTED ADVAI NULLAH Now used as a series of settlin ponds

When earth is dug up for mining, one part contains mineral ore while six parts contain mud which has little or no value. That mud has to be dumped somewhere. It cannot be dumped in the mining lease area, since the area has to be exploited to the last centimetre, so the mining company looks for land to dump the O B Waste. Sesa Goa’s Sonshi mine, which is 8 kilometers away from the Advai Nullah signed an agreement with the Revenue Secretary, Government of Goa to dump its O B waste in government land, under survey number 35. The government land was leased to Sesa Goa for a princely sum of Rs 10,000 to Rs 12000, say the farmers. The agreement expired in October 2011 and no one knows whether the contract has been renewed.

Survey No 35 was not enough for Sesa Goa, they extended their dump to survey numbers 32, 34, 35, 36/1, 36/2and 38 which are government properties encroached upon by others for cashew cultivations and other agricultural purposes. The dump has already spread into protected forested area. The mining giant is currently hunting for more parcels of land to dump its rejects in.

Survey No 1 in Codiem is protected forested area. It contains a tract of lush green forest (see photograph). If they are not stopped, this forested area too will be buried alive.

Sesa needs more land for dumping

NEW DANGER : Lush Green Forest in Codiem ready for burial (by SESA)

NEW DANGER : Lush Green Forest in Codiem ready for burial (by SESA)

Considering that for every seven parts of earth that is dug up, one part contains ore, the rest – six parts – is reject. Sesa Goa is going to need much more land for piling up its OB Waste. In 2005-06 Sesa Goa applied for permission to mine 12 lakh tones of ore per annum. This was increased to 20 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 and 30 lakh tones in 2008-09. This was when A Raja headed the Union Ministry of Mines. A Raja is the same gentleman sitting in Tihar Jail for the telecom scam. Which brings one to the conclusion that while digging a mine can and does inflict serious damage on the land, the dumps inflict even more damage. Especially when they keep adding ‘benches’ or tiers. In October last the dump was 72 metres, two benches have been added bringing the height of the dump to more than 90 metres.

The farmers have accessed documents of Sesa Goa from the Mining Department. Sonshi mining lease covers an area of 62 hectares. Their first dumps for collecting the waste covered an area of 21 hectares, but these dumps are getting filled to capacity. They are now planning to take up three survey numbers in Codiem. The company is looking for 50 hectares more for dumping reject. They would then have effectively destroyed 62+21+50 and even that is not enough. How can it be? Sesa Goa’s annual turnover is more than the entire Budget of Goa.

Safeguards look inadequate
Sesa Goa was ordered by the High Court to stop dumping any more material on the dump. Sesa Goa informed the Court that they would safeguard the dump by contouring it and covering each bench with geotextile to prevent landslides and damage to the surrounding forest land. The geotextile sheets seem woefully inadequate and some of the lower levels of the giant dump have already developed fissures. Sesa is building a concrete wall around the dump to hold it in place, but would prove less than useless against the enormous height of the dump, or the slope which is 55 to 60 degrees. The concrete wall will not hold the enormous mass of loose mud.

The mining company has begun constructing a concrete wall around the base of the dump. This is too small to contain the mass of unstable mud. Sesa Goa has constructed a temple some distance away from the dump. They are taking all precautions to keep the temple safe by constructing a wall around the temple.

To make matters worse the Advai Nullah area which used to be thickly forested, gets the heaviest rainfall in the district. This begs the question: Did the pundits of Sesa Goa deliberately select this area over the Advai Nullah to spread destruction far and wide. The farmers predict that not just all of Sattari taluka will suffer once the dump collapses, the Mhadei and Mandovi and those who depend on the rivers will suffer too.

BURIED ALIVE! This is how you bury a forest

BURIED ALIVE! This is how you bury a forest

Trees were buried and more are at risk
Since getting permits to fell trees in Government forest land is impossible since trees are not allowed to be cut in Government forest land. There is no law against burying the trees though. Sesa Goa merely dumped the mud over the trees, burying them and raised the dump to a height of almost 90 metres. The trucks drive up on roads tamped on the contoured ‘benches’ and we saw that they were still dumping soil on the dump. They have already started extending the dump into a local farmer Tendulkar’s property. Tendulkar had already leased or sold land to the mining company, he now owns several trucks for transporting ore and has built a spanking new bungalow in the path of the floodwaters if or rather when they arrive.

Sesa Goa has bypassed the Government of Goa and acquired land from Other Rights Holders whose names are included in Form I & XIV. Under the Right to Information the complainants learned that the mining lease is in the name of Cosme Costa & Sons, but the documentation says that the ore is sold at the pithead to Sesa Goa. The Environment Plans and other documents have been submitted by Sesa Goa.
WORRIED AND DEJECTED the last warriors fighting to protect their land

WORRIED AND DEJECTED the last warriors fighting to protect their land


Not only has Sesa Goa killed a 1.7 stretch of forest at Advai, the company also diverted the perennial nullah by digging out a nullah using heavy earth moving machinery to divert the water. But the springs were in the original Advai nullah now covered with mud. The farmers in the area were dependent on the water from the nullah for irrigating their kullaghars (betel nut plantations) banana, cashew and coconut plantation. Once the water dried up, they learned that the ground water too had depleted to such an extent that they could get water only by boring a well 70 metres deep. Desperate now for redressal, 30 affected farmers had taken the case to court in 2000. Judge Ferdino Rebello presided over the case. In 2003 the judge gave the order that no more mining reject could be added to the dump. Nothing much was said about restoring the nullah. You will see how this is significant.

The farmers asked their lawyer to get an order for its restoration, but their lawyer told them that there was no need too. It is significant that the lawyer is presently working in the legal department of Sesa Goa. Of the 30 complainants, only two families – the Desais and Sawaikars continue to fight against the monster dump that had destroyed their nullah. What happened to the rest of the complainants? Most of them own trucks and transport ore for Sesa Goa and other mine owners.

No value in the soil of dump
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has a plan to take over all the dumps in Government and forest land, but this 1.7km, 100 mt high dump has no monetary value at all. It has been exhausted of all ore. It is just clay, say the farmers. The reject is mud shorn of all nutrients in which no trees except acacia and scrub can grow. Acacia spells the death knell of forested areas, since the trees are water guzzlers and deplete the groundwater, even while spreading all over a forested area. Many countries have discouraged the planting of acacia trees.

Water scarcity where there was plenty
There was a man named Chari who dug a well just 15 feet deep. In those days, water was available at just 3 metres below the surface of the land. Chari used to supply 15 – 20 trucks of potable water to the mining company to spray water on the surrounding area and roads. Now Chari’s well has dried up and he has to depend on the mining company’s tankers to supply him with drinking water.

SHOCKING CRUELTY what's left of the original nullah

SHOCKING CRUELTY what’s left of the original nullah

 

The new Sesa Goa made diversion neither carries any water in months. Water is desperately needed.

Reduced to waiting for a mega disaster
The farmers have given a file to the Mining Department, to the Chief Minister, to the Indian Bureau of Mines, to the Forest Department (1.7 km of forest has been buried alive by Sesa Goa and another lush green forested area, see photograph is due for burial soon). But the Forest Department Officials famously stated that they can do nothing about forests in Government lands. Each department of Government refuses to take a decision saying that they have no powers to act against Sesa Goa.

Deputy Collector & SDO, Bicholim Sub-Division has directed the Mamlatdar of Sattari Taluka to carry out the inspection and submit a detailed checklist with plan and photographs. The farmers have submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Goa who is also the Minister of Mines to do something about ht illegal dumping of mining rejects in the villages of Vaghurem and Codiem villages. The farmers are happy but not too hopeful that firebrand environment activist Claude Sir (Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation) has taken the trouble to come and see the impending disaster for himself. They know that destruction of fertile lands is inevitable. As will be the choking of the River Mandovi. Only then will the good people of Goa stand up and shout.

(courtesy: Bevinda Collaco & TargetGoa.com)

SESA GOA, changing lives.. rich forest buried under 100 mt. mining dump !!!

 

 

International acclaimed environmentalist Dr. Claude Alvares, recently visited a alleged ‘illegal’ mine operated by SESA GOA and was irritated by the  100 meter hill erected by the mining dump (which also is illegal says, Alvares.) by burying a rich biodiversity forest.

Claude writes on his facebook page:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Went to the Sonshi mine of Cosme Costa. This is Pissurlem village, north east Goa. The mine is illegally operated by Sesa Goa (anything new?). Went with Pollution Board officials. Sesa Goa has created a mammoth mining dump that is nearly 100 metres high and 2 kms long! All illegal, no permissions. PCB clearance is for 30 mts height, so this is a clear violation.

There is a High Court order of 2003 forbidding any more dumps in the area, next to the Advoi river. HC order flushed down the toilet. I asked the manager about the illegal height of the dump. He says Sesa is not the only one, others are also doing this.

I am accosted by truck owners brought to the site by Sesa (they do this all the time whenever I visit a mine. This f!@#$%g  ISI 1400 or ISO 420 company cannot face me or any protester without putting in a dozen truck drivers between its managers and us). However I tell the truckowners I am one of their supporters, since they have done no illegal mining.

If Shah Commission finds these mines doing illegal mining, the trucks should demand their installments from the mining companies. I am willing to file a petition on this. They all admit Pissurlem and Vaghuriem are going the lunar way in a year or two. The illegal dump has been erected by burying a nice forest. I take enough pictures. Now what do I do? Parrikar is in charge. I wrote to him a month ago about this dump. No change. The mine continues dumping. (They stop one hour before we arrive on the scene.) Rage against the machine.

Facebook Bulletin, Monday April 9, 2012, better than print & electronic media ??

Aur Kitna Lootoge !!!

Aur Kitna Lootoge !!!

Sharad Patel’s posting about the ‘open loot’ of  Money (Maha) Bharat !!!

Brand Promotion by India‘s National Carrier “Air India”

India's national carrier Air India running this ad... it catches your eyes for the creative for sure.... but does it help the brand ?

What "Happiness, Satisfaction and Self-sufficiency are just some of the things that we leave behind AFTER mining." ???

I PROTEST AGAINST this Hoarding:
This hoarding by Vedanta (Sesa Goa) in one of their mining areas is totally MISLEADING and inappropriate. It reads…
“Happiness, Satisfaction and Self-sufficiency are just some of the things that we leave behind AFTER mining.”

Yes, we all know that the NRI owned Vedanta is making crores of rupees at the cost of Goa and Goans. Now WHOSE happiness, satisfaction and self-sufficiency are they talking about ? STOP fooling us Vedanta. You’ll leave NOTHING behind except permanent DESTRUCTION of our environment and life-long health hazards for our citizens. GET LOST from Goa, and get rid of this BLOODY hoarding immediately.

www.youtube.com

This lecture was delivered at IIT Kharagpur by Ritesh Singh. It talks about the relevance of Gandhi today specifically in the Manufacturing Industry. After watching it, most people shouldn’t have any doubts about the relevance of Gandhism in today’s world
Sunita Journo posted this photo about how UN failed in a survey
FOOD SHORTAGE – WHAT IT MEANS TO THE WORLD “A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: ‘Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?’ The survey was a huge failure… In Africa they didn’t know what ‘food’ meant. In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what ‘honesty’ meant. In Western Europe they didn’t know what ‘shortage’ meant. In China they didn’t know what ‘opinion’ meant. In the Middle East they didn’t know what ‘solution’ meant. In South America they didn’t know what ‘please’ meant. In the USA they didn’t know what ‘the rest of the world’ meant. But in India they only knew what ‘corruption’ meant.”
Mini Mathew posted on her wall a picture about the only cause of Rape

Rape Cause: GLORIOUS PLACARDS OF 2011 - REVISITED FOR INSPIRATION

Anjali Manohar posted on her wall a picture of an Incredible Indian, U. Sagayam, District Collector, Madurai. 

District collector, U. Sagayam of Madurai, Tamil Nadu - By refusing to take bribes, the Madurai collector has earned 18 transfers in 20 years, a modest house and bank balance and lots of respect.

‎”District collector, U. Sagayam of Madurai, Tamil Nadu – By refusing to take bribes, the Madurai collector has earned 18 transfers in 20 years, a modest house and bank balance and lots of respect”Three years ago, as district collector of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, U. Sagayam voluntarily declared his assets: a bank balance of Rs 7,172 and a house in Madurai worth Rs 9 lakh. Once, when his baby daughter, Yalini, who had breathing problems, was suddenly taken ill, he did not have the Rs 5,000 needed for admitting her to a private hospital. At that time he was deputy commissioner (excise) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and there were 650 liquor licences to be given out. The going bribe for each was rumoured to be Rs 10,000.(He needs a special mention here because the assets of an IAS officer-couple in Madhya Pradesh were valued at Rs 360 crore. They had 25 flats in three cities)’Reject bribes, hold your head high’, says a board hanging above Sagayam’s chair in his modest office. That’s the code he lives by, even if politicians are incensed they cannot bend him their way—he’s been transferred 18 times in the last 20 years—and has made enemies of both superiors and subordinates. “I know I sit under a dangerous slogan and probably alienate people,” he says. “But I have been the same Sagayam from Day 1. Standing up against corruption is not for a season. Nor is it a fad. It’s forever”, he says.

On a hot summer afternoon, on Madurai’s busy main road, the district collector, U. Sagayam, saw a young man talking on a cellphone while riding a motorbike. He asked his driver to wave the man down, got down from his car and meted out instant punishment: plant 10 saplings within 24 hours. Somewhat unconventional justice, some might say. But that’s how Sagayam works.

He also took on a mighty soft-drink mnc when a consumer showed him a bottle with dirt floating in it. He sealed the bottling unit and banned the sale of the soft drink in the city. In Chennai, he locked horns with a restaurant chain and recovered four acres valued at some Rs 200 crore.

Sagayam’s masters degrees in social work and law come in useful in his role as an administrator. He knows the rulebooks in detail and is not afraid of using them, however powerful the opponent. No wonder then that Sagayam’s career is marked with the scars of countless battles.

Sagayam’s wife Vimala has stood by him all these years but she was rattled by some of the threats during the elections. “He always says if you are right, nobody can hurt you,” she says. “But sometimes it becomes difficult.”

Sagayam says he learnt honesty on his mother’s knees.

Maloy Dhar

Maloy Dhar: Mamata is Hitler Didi of PORIBORTON

Hitler Didi of PORIBORTON: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s antics may have brought in higher central funds for the state, but her government’s performance has been below par in its first year.
A note prepared by the Planning Commission pointed out that the West Bengal government has been able to achieve just 6.5% of its target in agriculture, and provided only 14 days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) — the lowest among the poorer states of India.
The panel also noted that the overall economic growth also slowed down to around 8% in the state after Banerjee took over from the Left Front government.
Banerjee’s tirade against the Left, blaming it for its poor state of affairs, resulted in the central government allocating Rs 22,124 crore in 2011-12, an increase of about 20% as compared to the previous year.
The Centre also gave another Rs 3,500 crore as a special package after Banerjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier this year.

Mamata has not done anything so far to improve Bengal. Would she take only 5 years to destroy the state? Loud mouth nobody.

 Mohan Chakravaishya’s posted this cartoon about India being on the 4th position of corrupt countries.

सत्यमेव जयते कि गाथा, अब भारत में शायद कभी नहीं मिलेगी | दो कदम आगे निकलने कि होड ने भ्रष्टाचार कि सूची में भारत को पहले पायदान में लाने के लिए उकसाया है |


Naga Srinivas‎: 162 Criminal MP’s – Referendum

Who has insulted Parliament: ‎162 Criminal MP's - Referendum

Who has insulted Parliament: ‎162 Criminal MP's - Referendum

http://iacmumbai.org/announcement.php?id=TlRRPQ%3D%3D

Mahesh Vijapurkar

mahesh vijapurkar: Now I understand what all 'service' those bureaucrats are doing to us.

I became confused when I heard the word ‘service’ used with these agencies.

Indian Administrative ‘Service’
Indian Police ‘Service’
Civil ‘Service’
Indian Revenue ‘Service’
Indian Postal ‘Service’
Telephone ‘Service’
State, City, Public ‘Service’
This is not what I thought ‘service’ meant.

But when I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to ‘service’ a few cows, everything came into focus. Now I understand what all those bureaucrats are doing to us.

Write bad stuff about God on Facebook & get arrested!

 Posted by Anand Kurien