Goa fisherfolk hail SC order against dredging
The Supreme Court has dismissed Mormugao Port Trust’s (MPT) appeal against a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order preventing it from dredging in Vasco bay.The order was welcomed on Thursday by the Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE), which is spearheading the cause of traditional fisherfolk and coastal communities. GRE general secretary Olencio Simoes said MPT began dredging in Vasco bay to allow larger vessels to enter the navigation approach channel. The MPT proposed to deepen the approach channel from 14.1-14.4 metres to 19.5-19.8 metres.Mr. Simoes said the MPT in collusion with officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forest secured an Environmental Clearance, which exempted it from consultating the public before they began dredging. Mr. Simoes said the move was in complete violation of the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006. The NGT quashed and set aside this clearance on September 2, 2016. The MPT then challenged the NGT order before the Supreme Court.“The Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar should direct MPT to restore Khariwado beach,” Mr. Olencio said.