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GCZMA Defers Decision on Proposal to Dredge River Tiracol

Posted on May 24, 2016

Goa coastal zone management authority (GCZMA) has deferred a decision on the Maharashtra government’s proposal to undertake dredging at the mouth of River Tiracol to avoid duplication of process, as another proposal is pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Maharashtra maritime board (MMD) and the Maharashtra home department had sought GCZMA approval for clearing the waterways to facilitate operation of speed boats for security purposes and patrolling vessels of the coastal police in the channel proposed by the MMD.

After deliberations at a board meeting on March 29, this year, the GCZMA decided to wait until a similar proposal is received for dredging of the river from M/s Kiranpani port private limited (KPPL). The company wants to deepen the channel for movement of barges transporting coal and iron ore from the multipurpose terminal at Aronda jetty.

Villagers near the river mouth, especially Keri and Tiracol, have opposed the construction of the jetty at Aronda, movement of barges in the river channel and the proposed dredging. A series of meetings and agitations have been held to oppose the activities. The proposed dredging by KPPL has been opposed before the NGT by Diego Francis Rodrigues and another party.

The MMD proposed dredging in Tiracol creeks extends to an area of 1.4 km in a depth of 2m and with total volume of dredging 62.165 sq m.

A Maharashtra government representative had stressed that dredging is needed in the area for security reasons.

GCZMA expert member Antonio Mascarenhas conducted a site inspection near the river mouth in December 2015 at the behest of the Goa government in the wake of NGT’s directive and found the area to be highly dynamic and unstable. He recommended a proper scientific investigation as there is also a spit in the area.

“The ever-changing configuration of the spit confirms that this geomorphic feature is in a constant state of imbalance, the sand deposits are not stable, and the spit has not attained maturity,” Mascarenhas noted.

Sanjeev Joglekar, acting GCZMA member secretary stated that the proposal should be considered independently as it is a government proposal for coastal security purposes.

Mascarenhas suggested that studies done by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, for River Tiracol be relied on to decide the issue.

One of the columns of the Tiracol bridge is likely to come up in the area to be dredged.

Source: The Times of India

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