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VCCF objects to fish meal plant
Date: 2010/8/10 Click: 1064

Margao: The Velim Civic and Consumer Forum (VCCF), while strongly expressing its vehement objections to acquisition of some 30,000 sq. mts land for the proposed fish meal plant/fishing harbour/ice plant in the village, has demanded that the land acquisition process be dropped forthwith.

Outlining the grounds for its objections, the VCCF has, in a press release, pointed out that the proposed fish meal project would destroy the khazan lands that are "ecologically, economically and socially very important for both agriculture and pisciculture."

"The local farming community traditionally practices rice cultivation by growing salt--tolerant species during monsoon in conjunction with shrimp aquaculture during off-seasons. These lands serve as emergency storm water receptacles and thus play a major role in preventing floods," the press note signed by VCCF convenor Ramona Almeida says.

Pointing out that there already exists a couple of ice plants in the village, the VCCF has expressed concern that any more of such units would have an adverse impact on the health of the villagers. "At present there is an increase in respiratory disorders especially, asthmatic cases of children and senior citizens of the area. Moreover at close proximity of the said area under land acquisition there is a government-aided school and government primary school and the ammonia fumes emitted from the ice plant will, in course of time, prove to be a health hazard," the press note adds.

The VCCF has demanded that the garbage disposal plans for the proposed fishing harbour be made known to the villagers by the fisheries department. "A fishing harbour complex is a hub of activities with nearly all of them being potential waste generators. In the absence of adequate facilities for collection, treatment and disposal of wastes, these wastes will pollute the harbour complex and the harbour waters. Floatable material may escape from the area and end up along the coastline and beaches causing further damage to ecology and aesthetics," the note further adds.

The VCCF has cautioned that "any further expansion of fishing activities by acquiring land will only increase the existing public nuisance and cause unrest among the local population."

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