GPCC Vice President Sankalp Amonkar on Tuesday said that the Blue flag certification for Baina beach is just another attempt by the BJP Government to privatize the beach and demolish fishermen houses. Amonkar in a press conference said that blue flag certification will only stop locals from accessing and using the beach as the entire beach will be fenced .
Amonkar said that Congress along with fishermen and local residents will not only oppose the blue flag certification of Baina beach but also not allow any contractor to put markings on the beach.
” BJP is continuosly bringing in anti people project against the wishes of the people and now they have got a new project called a blue flag certification for Baina beach. BJP has identified 5 beaches in Goa for blue flag certification and people are not even aware of the blue flag certification. Under the blue flag certification,
A company from Denmark wants to get Indian beaches under blue flag certification and they have already appointed a consultant from Chennai.The blue flag certification will restrict locals on the beach and it will be in par with Jumeirah beach in Dubai where people have to pay to enter the beach .” Said Amonkar
” BJP has already tendered blue flag certification at Baina beach and this means that no one will be able to access the beach without payment and he will have to pay even if he wants to have a bath at the beach. The people will have to pay for all the amenities inside the beach including food outlets and people will be charged even for parking near the beach . The entire beach will be handed over to a contractor and locals will be restricted to enter the beach.Baina beach will be fenced and all locals will be banned from entering inside and a contractor will be appointed who will collect money from us to take up the maintainence of the beach ” said Amonkar
Amonkar said that the blue flag will cause 33 changes to match the criteria and the beach will change in 33 different ways including change of sand and colour of sea water.
” The main clause is that the blue flag certification will be exempted from CRZ and they will be able to take up development in minimum of 10 mtrs from High tide line .
The Traditional fishermen will be displaced and tbe fishermen will not be allowed to get their canoes on the beach and all the traditional fishermen houses will also be demolished. ” said Amonkar
Amonkar said that Urban Development Minister Milind Naik was silent on the issue while he was at the forefront ro demolish houses in the area and demanded Naik to clarify his stand wether he was with the people or with the Government
“Blue flag certification will also put an end to Ganesh Chaturthi visarjan on the beach and all religious structure like temples on the beach will have to be demolished. Local businessmen and small vendors on the beach will have to be displaced and even the lifeguards will have to be removed from the beach and the two shacks alloted on the beach will have to be removed. Baina also has sewerage plant just next to the baina beach and it caters to entire area and this plant will have to be removed and it will collapse the sewerage system ” said Amonkar
“BJP is playing the fool with us and has taken the other way round route of privatization of the beach under the name of blue flag certification. People will face maximum inconvenience and losses due to this project and we feel that this is only a pretext to demolish all the houses in ward no 7,8 and 9 . We want to request the MMC and also give a representation to the authorities not to bring the baina beach under th e blue flag certification.
We have heard for the last 20 years that the Baina beach will be beautified but till date it is incomplete and when GTDC took the first phase, we have wasted crores of rupees and the second phase is still not taken up. We also request the Government to immediately take up the second phase of beautification instead of coming up with such anti people project like blue flag certification of Baina beach. We will not allow anyone to mark the beach by any contractor because this beach belongs to locals and fishermen. All the fishermen will unite and we along with people will drive the people of the contractor arriving to mark the beach.” Said Amonkar
Activist Xencor Polgi said that all the projects got recently by the BJP was anti people and were being opposed by the people
” Why should government bring anti people project and force it on on the people. Why should ministers not talk to the centre and stop the projects. We also want to know how much study do the politicians have on this project and the centre is only out to finish Goa. Who will be responsible for environmental changes caused by the project that will include change of sand and water. We are already suffering coal pollution, cutting of trees for double tracking and even their projects like Atal Setu has been of substandard and has been closed down. We condemn the projects and we will not allow anyone to arrive on the beach and try to change the beach or carry out any marking.” Said Polgi