North Konkan's Native People's Vanishing Land's..


In Goa & Kerala the Christian population is between 25 to 35% due to which the goan & keralite Christians are numerically in a position to defend their lands and influence the Goa & Kerala govts. policies. Here in Maharashtra the Christian population majority of whom live in the north konkan region is less than 2% due to which Christians in Maharashtra are neither in a position to defend their lands neither in a position to influence the Maharashtra govts. policies.

All across the North Konkan region i.e. Bombay, Thane & Raigad districts the original Christian inhabitants ( Norteiros / East Indians / Mobaikars / Salsettekars ) are being displaced due to land acquisition. Displacement involves 'impoverishment risk' the common elements of which are: "landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalization, food insecurity, increased morbidity and mortality, loss of common property assets, and social disarticulation".

Beginning from 1st May 1960 when the Bombay region became part of Maharashtra the Norteiros / EastIndians / Mobaikars / Salsettekars have been facing a continuous threat from Politicians, Slumlords, Builders, Mafia, Bombay Muncipal Corporation, Collectors Office, City Survey Offices & Maharashtra Govt..

Today, no one knows of the original villages, no one knows of the original inhabitants, no one knows of their livelihood, houses, culture...The road side cross are now demolished, by saying they have "encroached" public space. These crosses were built in an era when even the BMC did not exist. The BMC allows migrants to encroach land, the encroachers are given free apartments by Maharashtra state. But the BMC & Maharashtra state are not bothered about the housing of the Christian natives of Bombay. The Christians in the Bombay region have been protesting and protesting against this rampant injustice.

Tasna Dam, Maharashtra

Due to good monsoons this year/2010 the Tansa, Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tulsi, Vihar, ModakSagar lakes are fast filling and the politicians & builders lobby are extremely happy. The BMC is also very happy because it can now provide water connections to new constructions instead of providing adequate water to old constructions. Water shortage has hit Bombay in a big way. While the city's water demand is 4,500 million litres per day (mld), it has been getting only 2,500 mld since the last five years. Compounding the plight is growth of slums and the rampant constructions of new buildings and skyscrapers.


The Maharashtra state has no interest in protecting the last few bits of wetlands, lagoons, forests, saltpanlands, openspaces,



mangroves, sea-grass beds, coral reefs, shallow bays, creeks and estuaries in the North Konkan region even the Large commercial enterprises are aiming at quick profit at the cost of sustainability and their insensitivity to the interests of local inhabitants.


Uttan Church

The Gorai-Manori-Uttan SEZ is the second largest in Maharashtra. Today the lush greenery, the homes, the villages, the occupation exists. Everyone knows, each and every village in this Manori Gorai belt. A lot of functions are held, even till late night, road side crosses exists. The same could be said of the Seven islands (bombay city) about a hundred years ago, the same could be said of Salsettle island (bombay suburbs) about 50 years ago. If Gorai-Manori is lost, there will not be a single recognizable East Indian village in the Bombay region. The culture and language that has taken thousands of years to develop will be lost in one stroke. The people will lose their homes and occupations. The residents will lose their means of livelihood which would lead to disintegration of their community both economically, spiritually and socially. If the people lose their homes and occupations the present churches in each of the villages would be reduced to monuments. The over one thousand year old culture of the locals would be wiped out with the execution of the SEZ project and the locals would suffer similar fate as the Christian natives in the island city and the suburbs of Mumbai have suffered.

Daniel Gonsalves