Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) and Baina Ramponkar and Fishing Canoe Owners’ Society (BRFCOS) on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Mormugao MLA Milind Naik urging him to protect the houses at Katem Baina by regularising them or else rehabilitating the occupants.
As per the memorandum, there are around 59 structures existing at Katem Baina, while 10 were razed by the district administration following directions issued by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) alleging illegal constructions in the inter-tidal area of the CRZ.
The fishing community associations including GRE and the BRFCOS are of the view that the structures at Katem Baina have been in existence even before the CRZ notification 1991 came into force.
“It is pertinent to note that way back in the year 2008, the directorate of fisheries had initiated a proposal for rehabilitation/ relocation of the structures from Katem Baina beach area to an adjoining land belonging to PWD and in this context, a letter dated May 23, 2008 came to be addressed by the then fisheries director S C Verenkar to the principal engineer of PWD wherein it was clearly stated that these fishermen from Katem Baina are traditional fishermen who had constructed their houses near the shore for convenience of their occupation,” states the memorandum and it adds that the letter also had clearly mentioned that the houses were constructed prior to the CRZ regulation 1991 coming into effect.
GRE general secretary Olencio Simoes, speaking to media after submitting the memorandum, stated that the people, whose houses are facing demolition and those whose houses have been razed are traditional fishermen living prior to the time of independence and their traditional dwelling units have been in existence prior to the enactment of the CRZ regulations in 1991/2011.
Mormugao MLA Naik has assured the fishermen community and representatives of the GRE and BRFCOS of taking up the matter with the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in order to save the houses. A strong posse of policemen was deployed at the residence of Mormugao MLA after the members of the GRE and BRFCOS decided to hand over the memorandum on Friday morning.