Contrary to the fears that the reduction of the No Development Zone (NDZ) to 50 metres from the High Tide Line as against the earlier 200 metres from the High Tide Line in densely populated rural areas will cause damage to the state’s coastline, it is likely to affect only one or two villages, according to informed sources.
The source, however, said that the two villages likely to be affected by the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018 will be based on the exercise to be carried out by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM). There may also be no changes in the CRZ categories 1, 2 and 4, the source added.
It may be noted that the central government recently approved the CRZ Notification, 2018. The CRZ notification was last reviewed and issued in 2011.
Although Goa may have to revise the draft plan, procedures to be followed for the revision would be known only when the CRZ Notification, 2018 is published as a gazette notification. There would also be a guideline for the states to follow.
Moreover, there has been no request made to the NCSCM to prepare plan as per the new CRZ notification so as to introduce changes in the CRZ 3 A category, which deals with panchayat areas having population density of 2,161 per square kilometre for reducing the NDZ area.
The draft Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) is being prepared based on the existing CRZ notification 2011 which will have key and basic components such as hazard line, demarcation of the estuarine along rivers on either sides, demarcation of High Tide Line, 200 metres and 500 metres and delineation of areas that are vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise, waves and tides.
The department of environment had asked the NCSCM to submit the draft Coastal Zonal Management Plan (CZMP) by December 20 last year to start the process of public consultation for receiving objections and suggestions in order to comply with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on submission of draft plan to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change by January 31, 2019.
Agency involving 20 scientists has been working since February last year to prepare the draft CZMP but it was delayed and now new timeline has been set for submission which is fixed on January 20.
The reasons for delay in preparing plan was attributed to the erroneous plans drafted by NCSCM and not setting timelines for carrying out the ground-truthing, which is a prerequisite step before placing the plan for public hearing.
The officials, however, have shown hope of complying with the NGT order on preparation of the draft CZMP before January 31 which will be then kept open for public consultation for a period of 30 days to bring in any changes before submitting it to the Union ministry for approval.
The National Green Tribunal had earlier ordered that no construction activity and regularising would be permitted in coastal districts of the state till the State Coastal Zone Management Plan maps are submitted.