How on earth can the Rassaim pier be a tourist project, unless it is “barge tourism”?
Sharp local retort: How on earth can Rassaim Pier be a tourism project, unless it’s ‘barge tourism’?
Locals point out that the phrase used “redevelopment and renovation of the pier” is totally wrong because there is no existing pier; locals criticize Dy Captain of Ports, Sirsaikar’s statement that the pier is exclusively for commuter transport and is proposed under Sagartat Samriddhi Yojana
RASSAIM: Villagers and social activists in Loutolim have wondered how the Rassaim jetty project turned into Sagartat Samriddhi Yojana as Harbor Master (CoP) documents show that the project falls under the Sagarmala program?
Residents on Tuesday criticized the government authority over Deputy Ports Captain Premlal Sirsaikar’s statement that the proposed jetty at Rassaim is exclusively for commuter transport and should be built under the Central Sagartat Samriddhi Yojana.
A local Ramiro Mascarenhas said: “The term redevelopment and renovation of the pier is totally wrong because there is no existing pier in Rassaim but a ramp for the ferries.
“So far all the correspondence between the concerned authorities, inter-ministerial or panchayat indicates that it is Sagarmala project, then suddenly how does it change to Sagartat Samriddhi Yojana?” He asked.
He said that when Dy CoP says it is for passengers/tourism, villagers would like to ask him if the barge repair yards along the bank of Zuari River in Rassaim are the sights that tourists will see and he says it’s also for berthing barges.
Reacting strongly to this statement, Xavier Fernandes, a social activist from Loutolim, said: “The CoP statements clearly show that the government is not firm on its own policy regarding the proposed jetty in Rassaim and elsewhere.”
“This is clear proof that this government is trying to deceive the people. We villagers have been raising our voices against this issue since 2017 when the concerned authority mentioned that the proposed jetty was for cargo/passengers,” he said.
Fernandes said that since then all correspondence from the authority has continued to mention that the pier is for cargo and passengers when there is no documentation proving their claim is correct.
“According to the National Waterways Act, it is clearly stated that they can acquire as much land as they wish and the state authorities will have no say in it. And therefore the national waterways law should be put in place. Whatever the situation, the villagers will not allow any piers in Rassaim,” he warned.
“What cargo will the barges bring to Rassaim, Loutolim or what cargo will they take away?” How will passengers and vehicles disembark the ferry when the design indicates that it is 3.1 meters from MSL?
Mascarenhas said, “Dy CoP visited their panchayat in 2019 during a gram sabha and when people asked him why CoP’s letter to our panchayat said it was for passenger/cargo, he said it was was a mistake when the Sagarmala project clearly says that it is for the expansion of the port, the rapid evacuation of goods, an increase in industrial production and logistics, the parking lot is also not indicated on their plan, which will permanently displace the inhabitants who remain near the river bank.