Continuing with its statewide awareness cum protest over the draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2018, ‘Goans Against CRZ’ arrived at Betalbatim, on Sunday, to inform the people about the details of the notification and the reasons for opposing it.
Addressing a gathering, president of Goenchea Ramponkaracho Ekvott (GRE) Olencio Simoes questioned the state government’s stand that Goa would not be affected by the implementation of the notification.
“The Chief Minister has said that only areas that have a population density of above 2,161 per square kilometre will be affected by the notification with a change of NDZ (no development zone) of 200 metres to 50 metres. Who has done the survey for this? No survey for a per square kilometre population density has been undertaken,” said Simoes.
He also informed the locals about the history of the CRZ Act.
“In 1986, the Environment Protection Act was enacted. In 1999, the CRZ Act was put in place and after that came the 2011 notification. Both had one aim – saving of the coastal areas and community along with the rivers and water bodies. It was meant to stop industrialisation and building of hotels in these areas. But this new draft notification is working against all this. In Kerala, CRZ rules have been violated and the result can be seen in the form of floods,” he said.
Convenor of ‘Goans Against CRZ’ Kennedy Afonso, meanwhile, pointed out how the notification would result in a huge loss to the local communities.
“The CRZ 2011 notification was a good law. Coastal areas were protected under that. Villages on the coast and the people living in the coastal belt including fishermen, toddy tappers and even farmers were also protected. But with the new notification, it will all be ruined,” he said.
He also pointed out that coastal plan has still not been completed.
“This government has still not done this plan neither identified the houses of these communities. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed an order that by April it will have to be done, failing which they would have to pay a fine. Now, the final deadline is August. So, the government has now hired a Chennai-based company to do the plan” he said.
The awareness, which began in Cortalim, was held in Benaulim as