Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Karvi species blooms en mass in Chorla Ghats.

The Chorla Ghats are once again draped with another mass flowering- this time of yet another species of karvi, locally known as Rann karvi or Patri karvi and scientifaclly known as Strobilanthus ixiocephala.
A perinial shrub growing rarely more than a meter in height, this floral wonder can now be witnessed all across the Chorla Ghats at a height between 600-800 meters and is yet again a once in a seven-year wonder. Just like the Common karvi (Strobilanthus callosa), this species blooms in a 7-year cycle in en mass and is a sight to behold especially against the backdrop of the mixed moist deciduous and semi evergreen slopes of the Chorla Ghats. The plant has thin branches and the flowers are in clusters. The plant flowers have spikes, which have a strong scent, and the leaves are opposite to each other. Though reported to be occasionally found elsewhere in the Sahyadris, many of the hill slopes of the Chorla Ghats and the surrounds of the Mhadei Bio region are now covered with flowering shrubs of this species. A special place to observe these flowers however is the Sacred Groves of Surla and the slopes of the Ladki falls, besides which the shrubs line the Goa Karnataka road near the state borders.
The flowering of this species not only goes to prove the rich floral biodiversity of the Chorla Ghats which is threatened due irreversible damage of prime natural habitats such as monoculture plantations but is also an eye opener for the state Governmet to accord protection to this important region by creating awareness about its natural wonders as well as ecological significance for water security for the people of the state being accorded by these forests.
Right now the single largest threat to the region is the Karnataka Governments Damming and Diversion projects on the Mhadei River and her tributaries, which will spell doom to the natural flora as well as fauna of the region.
While ecologists and wildlife activists from across the country have raised serious concern about the continuation of work on the Kalsa project despite a Court order, the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyaan is leading a movement at the grass roots level and networking Goans at large to understand the importance of the region.
While the Mass Patri Karvi flowering is a natural wonder, and a visit to the area is a must to watch in awe at these beautiful flowers in bloom, it is the need of the hour to also raise a united voice and support the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyaan in their initiative to conserve the River Mhadei and her forests of which the Chorla Ghats are an integral part.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Snake Rescue Volunteers In Goa

The WILDGOA SNAKE HANDLERS LIST compiled by Clinton VAz is real handy and hence this post.

Don't panic if you see a snake. As you know now, not all of them are poisonous.
If you cannot identify it, don't kill it. Instead, call one of the volunteers listed
below. There are over 40 volunteers all over Goa that will that will come
immediately, catch the snake and release it back into the wild. Some of these
volunteers will request for a small fee to cover fuel expenses.
Volunteer N GO Area Contact
Sainath Shirodkar GFD All Goa 9422062880/ 2265772
RFO - Campal GFD North Goa 2228772/ 2229701
Aaron Fernandes GCR North Goa 9850560560
Sanket Naik VEA Pernem 9421239791
Amrut Singh ARS Bicholim 9422062503/ 2363803
Anand Dalvi ARS Bicholim 9923528080
Vivek Parodkar VEA Sattari, Bicholim 9423600333/ 2369387
Deepak Gawas VEA Satteri, Bicholim 9421248643
Kedar Kanekar ARS Satteri, Bicholim 9324857453
Chandrakant Shinde VEA Sattari, Bicholim 9420159497
Sagar Kambli GCR Bardez, Tiswadi 9823937930
Mario Fernandes GCR Bardez, Tiswadi 9923667665
Anand Melekar ARS Satteri 9764681913
Sunil Korajkar GCR Bardez 9822123042/ 2253715
Rahul Alvares --- Bardez 9326115883/ 2278740
Nitin Sawant WWF Bardez 9822483535/ 9823915208/ 2414278
Oldrin Pereira NNC Bardez 9850450120
Arnold Noronha VEA Bardez 9420685641
Ramesh Zamekar VEA Bardez 9923306455
Sharad Chari NNC Bardez 2293193
Mario Cavallari ARS Bardez 9822166175
RFO - Bondla GFD Ponda 2610022
Surel Tilve ARS Ponda 9422058590/ 2335078
Dilip Naik --- Ponda 9823229378/ 2316492
Kamlakant Parab PFA Ponda 9822130598/ 3207920
Dilesh Hazare ARS Ponda 9422453437/ 2340609
RFO - Margao GFD South Goa 2750246
Julio Quadros --- South Goa 9822152010
Sudan Naik ARS Mormugao, Salcete 9822387347/ 2550898
Pankaj Lad VEA Salcete 9372109987/ 2751308
Neelam Khomarpant GCR Salcete 9822123868/ 9822123042
Philip Fernandes --- Salcete 9822986505
Clinton Vaz WLG Salcete 9890936828/ 2736828
RFO Mollem GFD Sanguem 2612211
Satish Poinguinkar ARS Canacona 9421244555/ 9823134465/ 2641510
Paresh Porob GFD Canacona 9822157139
GFD: Goa Forest Department, VEB: Vivekananda Environmental Awareness Brigade, ARS:
Animal Rescue Squad, GCR: Green Cross, PFA: People for Animals, WWF: World Wildlife Fund,
NNC: Nisarga Nature Club, WLG: WildGoa
Version 3.0, Updated on 26.11.2007 Volunteer names and numbers verified, checked & compiled by Clinton Vaz klintvaz@gmail.com for
WildGoa, a nonprofit e-group of Wildlife enthusiasts in Goa. Join the group for free at http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/wildgoa

Whose wildlife anyway?

I usually maintain a strict silence in the forest, talking only in whispers, when signs and signals are insufficient…as every patch in the forest floor is a treasure trove of biodiversity and there is drama unfolding at every niche, which I for one care not to disturb or miss!
But today was a different trail, as I was walking the forest with two pals, Rajesh from an urban setting in Goa and Siddhu from the village on the periphery of the forest that we were walking through. Both were Goans, and in their late 20’s like me, friends who had shared the wilds and their wonders with me on numerous occasions, and nature lovers as good as can be! The difference today however was that today, we were talking more than listening, thinking more than observing…not the forests in our surrounds, but about the state and the wildlife scenario at large.
Siddu had started the conversation as Gaur had raided his crops yet again, and this time it was a tough situation, as hand loans had been taken. He opined that the Forest Department should take care of its own animals and see to it that they don’t stray into human habitats, and Rajesh vociferously supported his stand, as fresh memories of a leopard sighting in his town brought back certain truths…even though he loved nature and its wild denizens, the thought of a leopard prowling his neighborhood made him more than just uncomfortable! I too was concerned and spoke out my reservations about Bonnet macaques raiding homes in cityscapes. It was a common factor- wildlife of various sorts was coming in conflict with humans in both urban as well as forest dominated landscapes and though the magnitudes were different the problem was the same.
But at the same time it was necessary for us all to understand certain aspects of these problems and the reasons of their occurrence, as we now are aware that such phenomenon was here to stay.
Firstly, the very thought of people considering wildlife as state Government property as and when they feel fit worries me, as this is often done when wildlife is in conflict and not when creatures like the Indian Bull frog are in danger, of being persecuted for the dinner table. We need to understand that wildlife, whether it be large mammals like the Indian Gaur, bonnet macaques, leopard or elephants to snakes, frogs and the flock of egrets in our backyard are protected by various laws that are implemented by the State authorities, and in very simple terms, the Forest Department and its various agencies are custodians of our forests and its denizens, for our sake, for the sake of our country and its people!
And hence these creatures are as good a responsibility for us as they are for the official agencies that try to protect them. We need to be aware that the Indian Constitution confers upon us a duty to protect our countries natural resources, lakes and rivers and wildlife (mentioned specifically) and yet, many individuals I meet somehow seems to think that the Government is solely responsible to curb and control human animal conflicts. Let me tell you it is not an easy task. And without the support of the public, a seemingly impossible task. When I say this, I do not mean to suggest that my brethren in Goa have not risen to the occasion on countless man animal conflict issues in the past, but what I mean to specifically suggest is that the need of the hour is to understand the problem on a larger perspective. We need to understand that mammals like elephants, leopards, Gaur, wild boar, Langur and reptiles like rock pythons King cobras, marsh crocodiles, Russell’s vipers etc besides other wildlife are entering into human dominated landscapes for various reasons and these need to be distinctively looked into not only by wildlife biologists and researchers but also by development planners, politicians and policy makers as most importantly by us common people who need to act proactively and contribute by way of our suggestions and comments to the Draft Regional Plan. We need to remember very clearly that all factors that drive wildlife into conflict with humans are related in one way or the other to issues related to changes and alterations of natural habitats and this we know is the crux of the matter.
So it is time for us all firstly to accept that the problem is not one that is cannot be solved as with sound scientific applications and proper urban and rural landscape planning, monitoring and research issues like human animal conflicts can be surely minimized if not solved completely. We also need to accept the fact that all wildlife, whether urban or in our Protected areas is our natural heritage and is our collective responsibility. For this we need to act strongly on issues related to our land use planning, our river network conservation on our issues related to irreversible destruction of habitats like mining and large scale development projects like the Mhadei diversion scheme across the state. We need to realize that our natural resources and our Protected areas are the green lungs of this state and life support systems of scores of creatures including us. Hence every Goan has an urgent role to play, just like every wild creature plays in the web of life. Keep the faith.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Montane Trinket snake documented in Virdi forests

Researchers working under the aegis of the Mhadei Bachao Abhiyaan have reported the documentation and photographic evidence of yet another forest species of snake- the Montane Trinket snake from the forests that surround the site of the Virdi Irrigation project in Maharashtra.
The Montane Trinket snake (Coelognathus helena monticollaris) is a non venomous species of forest snake that is endemic to India and has previously been documented in the Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary and the Mollem National Park of Goa. Found in the Western Ghats of India, this species is found only in certain parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka besides Maharashtra and Goa.
Being a slender bodied snake with a distinct coloration of a light olive brownish body and blackish spots accompanied by traverse stripes of white, the Montane Trinket snake prefers mixed moist deciduous and evergreen forest habitats and has on some occasions been observed to take residence in caves as well as abandoned man made structures. A diurnal snake which is also active at night, the behavior of this species is poorly studied and is acknowledged as an important species for reptile conservation. Viviparous in nature i.e. giving birth to live young, this species is feeds on small mammals, birds, amphibians and other snakes too. It catches its prey with the help of camouflage and stealth and kills by constriction.
Three specimens of this species were recorded in the forests that surround the proposed Irrigation project while on a survey trip by a team of field researchers including Nirmal Kulkarni who has been documenting the Herpetofauna of this region for the past decade. The Ornate Gliding snake (Chrysopelea ornata), the Boulengor’ Bronze back snake (Dendrelaphis bifrenalis), the Brown Vine snake ( Ahaetulla pulverulenta) and the Olive Forest snake ( Rhabdops olivaceus) have previously been recorded from this region which connects the forests of the Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary on one side and the reserved forests of Karnataka on the other and the rate of endemism is high in this region which is collectively called the Mhadei Bio Region. Besides which the number of Globally threatened species of reptiles and amphibians is also significant in these forests
Besides reptiles and amphibians, the region is home to a diversity of wildlife including large mammals like the tiger and leopard, slender loris and rare birds like the Long Billed Vulture and the Sri Lankan Frogmouth.
The documentation of species like the Montane Trinket snake and other such species from the area which is slated for submergence and irreversible habitat destruction due to the Virdi Irrigation project is a cause for serious concern amongst ecologists and there is an urgent need to ascertain the impacts of the proposed project on the biodiversity of the region.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the Ruby throated yellow bulbul or the Crimson throated bulbul showed up near my base, and as Goa's state bird was a treat to watch.Photographing it was tough though as the light was poor and the equipment i have very less adequate. But yes, observing this bird was a treat and am looking forward to some more good sighting soon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Work by Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd to divert waters of Kalsa tributary of Mhadei river to the Malaprabha basin continues on a war
footing despite Karnataka government's assurance to the Supreme Court of maintaining status quo in the matter. Besides, the work has now extended into areas of private forest in Kankumbi. The project, envisaging excavation of a canal at Kankumbi to link the Kalsa tributary to Malaprabha river, had started two years ago. Presently, the work is allegedly damaging the reserve forest. "By dumping the massive quantities of mud in the reserve forest areas under survey No 59 and 60 at Kankumbi, Karnataka has grossly violated ForestConservation Act 1980 and Wildlife Protection Act 1972" Colonel Ravinder Kumar Saini, a representative of Paryavarani, a Belgaum-based organisation said. Goa government and Mhadei Bachao Abhiyan had filed two separate cases before the Supreme Court alleging illegalities in sensitive areas of the western ghats. The Karnataka government had assured that it would maintain status quo in the matter in connection with one of the Goa petitions. The matter filed by MBA is scheduled for hearing on January 15, 2009. Karnataka is also widening the course of Malaprabha river to divert the water to Bailhongal and other areas. "The diversion will cause grave harm to water security and ecological security of Goa" Nirmala Sawant, convenor, MBA said. The villagers of Kankumbi and surrounding villages are also agitated over the project, as their agricultural fields have been partly destroyed. They have also expressed their apprehension over the possible depletion of the water table in the area. Baban Dalvi, president of Mauli Devasthan Committee, Kankumbi said, "Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd, has commenced the project without our consent or without paying proper compensation." The villagers have brought the matter to the notice of concerned authorities, but alleged that no action has been initiated to sort it out. Karnataka's project is aimed at augmenting the deficit in Malaprabha Reservoir at Navalthirth, by diverting 3.56 TMC feet of water from Kalsa. This involves the construction of a dam at Kambarves across Kalasa nalla near Kankumbi. Karnataka had resumed work on canals at Kunmumbi and Talwadi villages in Belgaum district two years ago. For the construction of dam and canals, however, there is need of diversion of forest land admeasuring 258 hectares. But till date, Karnataka has not obtained permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Also in April 2002 the Central Water Resource Department had kept in abeyance the letter allowing Karnataka to divert 7.56 TMC feet of water. However, in spite of this, Karnataka has continued with it's illegalities, said Nirmala Sawant at Kankumbi in Karnataka. Various farmers bodies from Hubli-Dharwad region have been agitating in a bid to prevail upon the state government to expedite the work as they would be benefited from the project. Karnataka has adopted the stand that no clearance is needed from the Centre or Goa's opinion to be considered as the project cost was less than Rs. 50 crore. "Karnataka's approach and attitude in diverting Kalsa tributary is totally undemocratic and illegal since they require the permission of MOEF to utilise the reserve forest first and then to start the work" says Colonel Ravinder Kumar Saini.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I attempt to put limelight on the ten most vulnerable reptile species that are threatened in the state of Goa and hope to gather public as well as bureaucratic support for their survival.
1. The Marsh Crocodile-
Threats- Habitat destruction and poaching has drastically reduced the last surviving local populations of this magnificent reptile in earlier strongholds like the Kumbharjua canal and elsewhere. The added pressures of being killed for meat and captured for being kept as wild pets seem to fix the final nail in their coffins.
2. The Indian Rock Python-
Threats- Habitat destruction and alteration are taking their toll on this keystone species of Indian snakes and forcing individuals to enter human landscapes in search of prey thus causing conflicts. The results are death or displacement and both are taking a heavy toll on the numbers of this protected species.
3. The Indian Monitor Lizard-
Threats- Mass poaching for skins to be used on traditional Ghumat drums still continues despite efforts by several musical experts and wildlife conservationists to provide alternatives. The drastically reduced numbers are further endangered due to killing of the Indian Monitor lizard for blood which supposedly has cure for asthma in local medicine.
4. The Olive Ridley turtle-
Threats- Disturbance in vital habitats on the nesting sites as well as the coastal waters near our shoreline are responsible for reduced numbers in nesting females of the Olive Ridley Sea turtle. Besides which sporadic poaching of nests for eggs and female turtles continues in many coastal areas and is a cause of concern.
5. The King Cobra-
Threats- Habitat destruction and reduction of prey species, i.e. snakes and monitor lizards is causing this flagship species of the Western Ghats to enter into human dominated landscapes and is a cause of serious concern amongst ecologists. Besides Goa, only Agumbe in Karnataka is known to have the same problem and is worrisome as the King Cobra is a strictly forest species and does not frequent fringe forest areas like it does in Goa.
6. The Indian Flapshell turtle-
Threats- This once common species has been pushed to the brink of local extermination in the past decade by a combination of factors including extensive usage of pesticides and fertilizers in fields and pastures, filling of lakes and ponds for land purposes and poaching for meat which is a delicacy in many parts of Goa.
7. The Malabar Pit Viper-
Threats- Replacement of monoculture plantations and rapid deforestation of forests at higher altitudes in Goa’s hinterlands is forcing this endemic species into local extinction and very little study or documentation is available on the same. The disappearance of this species from certain earlier strongholds like Vagheri, Surla, and Netravali etc is sending alarm signals amongst the wildlife researchers in the state.
8. The Indian Draco or Gliding Lizard-
Threats- This significant and unique gliding lizard is losing out in some parts of its natural domains due to disturbance of its niche habitats and alterations due to plantation of monoculture plantations like Australian acacia and cashew.
9. The Indian Rat Snake-
Threats- Mercilessly killed due to ignorance and fear, this harmless snake species is also called the friend of the farmer for its ability to keep in check the rodent population in farms. But today, this species is killed upon sight and has caused considerable depletion in numbers all across the state. Besides which, reduction in green cover in urban and semi urban areas has taken a toll on this once common species of the Goan landscape.
10. The Banded Ground Gecko-
Threats- This relatively unknown Gecko inhabits the forest floor of our protected areas and is threatened due to changes in its niche habitats due to destruction of earth cuttings, forest fires, exotic tree plantations and weed infestation.

And although these 10 species constitute a very small percentage of the number of species of reptiles and other lesser known life forms that are threatened due to reduction and disturbances in forest ecosystems, the fact that timely scientific intervention aided by strong conservation policy implementation can still conserve these species that are a vital link of the ecosystem they survive in.
It is but important for us all to understand that while the mega fauna like the leopard and Gaur are already facing a risk o local extinction, species like the Banded Ground Gecko, the Indian rat snake and the Gliding Draco may not even be heard of before they get extinct from our forests. It is the need of the hour to recognize that all life forms, whether big or small, have an important role to play in every ecosystem and are our natural heritage-something which we as a people should not take for granted.

this is a sample of a limited edition mug being promoted by me for raising funds for helping young researchers and wildlifers to take training on wildlife research. the mugs have various images of Goan wildlife and exquisite natural settings of Goa especially of the Mhadei region.
For details to purchase and support the cause please contact me on 09326107079 or mail me at ophidian_nirmal@yahoo.co.in

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

'Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished' read this on a a Board in a sanctuary and is still etched in my mind.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Invitation for the Goa State Level Workshop on
Western Ghats/Sahyadri

Do the Western Ghats have a future?

The Save Western Ghats Campaign has faded into history. The pressure on Sahyadri Mountatin range is enormous, with a looming threat of destruction of the remaining greenery of this mountain range; we need to act with urgency to save the Western Ghats.

· Recognized as one of the 18 biodiversity hotspots in the world, the Western Ghats in south-western India is not only the most important and picturesque ecosystems but one that is gateway to the monsoons in the sub-continent. However, the manner in which this region has been exposed to unprecedented destruction in the recent past belies its ecological significance as also the social and economic lives of the people.

· Not long ago, however, the region had posted one of the greatest successes in ecological activism by restoring the Silent Valley to its pristine beauty. It had reflected the testimony of the people’s resilience and the effort to conserve the dwindling natural resources.

· The numerous actions on the ground as well as hundreds of academic papers produced on the Western Ghats are a clear indicator of the crucial role it plays in the lives of people in the region, and in sustaining the life-support system in the entire sub-continent. In Goa the remaining forests is threatened by mining and tourism lobby.

· Yet, in the present policy framework has restricted the ecological continuum to respective state boundaries, making it vulnerable to divisive actions and exploitation. The challenge therefore is to bring the Western Ghats into the mainstream of public policy agenda, for developing a holistic vision for conservation of the natural resources in the Western Ghats.

In order to discuss these and related issues, we have already organized a series of state level Tamil Nadu ,Kerala, Karnataka,and now plan to hold a
workshop in Goa.

Your presence as well as your suggestions will go a long way in helping us to evolve an action plan to save the Western Ghats. Please do come and participate in the workshop.

The objective of the meeting:

1 To discuss the issues which are threatening the Western Ghats in Goa

2 To evolve strategies for policy changes in favor of conservation of resources in Western Ghats in individual

3 To probe the possibilities for re-launching of the Save Western Ghats Campaig

4Evolving an Action Plan for future.

Date : December 17, 2008
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM (Lunch will be provided at the venue)

Participants who are in need of travel expenses (bus fare) to attend the workshop will be reimbursed.
This meeting is organized by Appiko/Chipko Movement/ (Sirsi, Karnataka) with support from organizations working for Western Ghats.
Please confirm your participation by email or by phone to:

Pandurang Hegde Email: appiko@sancharnet.in or appiko@gamil.com

Mob 9448818099

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Vivekanand Environmentt Awareness Brigade is having a Nature Camp at Mollem national Park. Contact Pankaj Lad for details on 09372109987.
Illegal dynamite fishing-a grave cause of concern.
A few years ago I remember I sat alongside Assavri, my spouse under a Ficus tree on the banks of the Mhadei at a location frequented by Great Pied hornbills and White browed wagtails amongst other species. The serene settings had prompted us to take a break from our trail into these wilds and observe the mesmerizing beauty of this river and pristine forests. The very sounds of silence could thus be heard and even at twelve o’clock in the afternoon, we were enjoying every bit of the experience.
It was then that this young boy materialized with two others in tow on the other banks of this revered river, and as if to follow a set pattern, did a Reece of the banks and its depth…to decide on a spot to settle down…i.e., sit down and open a parcel. A parcel whose contents were not visible but mind boggling to the untrained eye like mine in these aspects.
A small hand movement, a plonk like sound in the waters near the vantage point where we sat and a shuddering explosion underwater made me sit up with anger and fright. Mindless and more importantly carefree about our presence and oblivious to our identity, the youth jumped into the waters to rummage through their kills, yes this was the illegal dynamite fishing trend that I had so often heard about from various quarters. This sequence of events happened repeatedly thrice over until the youth moved further with their catch…a few fish collected in a small cane basket hung over the shoulder.
Present day scenario. My mind raced back to this thought as I was participating in a seminar on Ecological Traditions of Goa organized jointly by the Biodiversity Cell of the Carmel college for Women and the CPR Environment Education Centre Chennai where Mr. Prakash Paryekar, a true son of the soil and a silent worker working in these parts had made a desperate plea on this issue to the delegates, the official agencies and more importantly to fellow workers, ecologists and nature lovers to put an end to this disastrous and dangerous method of fishing in fresh water lakes and rivers, especially in the hinterlands of Goa as besides the fact that it is replacing the ecological and traditional methods of fishing, it is an illegal act of killing indiscriminately and callously as Mr. Paryekar put it.
So far very little has happened and perhaps the plea has once again been forgotten. I for one admit that it was not a priority for me until I saw the catastrophic effects that this trend does to the immediate ecology where it is practiced. Not only is the river bed, the multitudes of organisms and the various other components lost and dismembered, but so is the surrounding vegetation. In fact many of the dead fish are not even collected due to the unclear waters that prevail for sometime and also because many species are small or unworthy for the table! Scars run deep in the earth cuttings and large fauna too are adversely affected. And that too for the sake of a handful of fish that some individuals need to nab, in short while by using short cuts that cause maximum negative impact by using minimum effort. Traditional methods are hence forsaken as they are deemed to be time consuming and strenuous, a result of which many a local are now taking to the use of dynamiting as it is called in all of Goa’s hinterlands.
I sometimes wonder from where the dynamite is procured as it is a cause of serious concern too, and given the recent spate of terror attacks on the country one wonders whether such channels of freely available dynamite need to be clamped upon as an immediate measure. There are rumors that the metal and stone quarries that operate provide the same for an amount and although this cannot be ruled out, it is not my job to investigate or even comment on this aspect. It is but necessary that official agencies including the Goa Police and the Goa Forest Department look into the issue as they are responsible for protection of life and property respectively. That the dynamiting in rivers happens in areas that are part of government forests and include Reserve Forests and even some parts of our sanctuaries is a fact that cannot be ignored.
Isn’t there a system that can secure our water bodies from the mindless onslaught from misguided youth and locals? Aren’t there social groups and NGO’s who can take up this cause? I wonder why not, as the practice is not only illegal and harmful to the environment but dangerous for those who practice it too. There have been unconfirmed and unproven reports of accidents that have happened whilst handling these explosives and there have been times when unexploded sticks of dynamite have detonated unexpectedly causing injury life and property including cattle. This has to stop, and the sooner our Government reacts the better, before it is too late and an accident occurs. Individuals have often raised their voices over the years chiefly amongst them being Rajendra Kerkar and Prakash Paryekar, but these have been brushed aside for reasons that I still cannot comprehend even today.
Our Rivers and its denizens are life support systems for all Goans, be it the fish that inhabit its streams and waters or the hill forests these waters support. That our ancestors have elaborately created rituals and practices to venerate the River is proof enough that the river ecology was considered as an important support system for sustaining life of all kinds. That we ruin and destroy this very support system for a handful of by catch in a manner that destroys an entire riverine ecology is not only illegal but unethical too. Keep the faith.