A presentation scheduled on draft coastal zone management plan (CZMP) in Canacona on Saturday was a repeat of Pernem as close to thousand people, who had come to oppose the draft plan, protested at the entrance of the meeting venue.
The people of Canacona voiced their resentment against the draft CZMP by boycotting the public consultation meeting chaired by Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral.
Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco visited the people and expressed their solidarity with them and supported their demand to scrap the draft CZMP and have it redrawn.
With social media and word of mouth doing their job, the message against the draft CZMP was passed effectively and the town of Chaudi witnessed as many as thousand people gathering at the meeting venue.
People carried placards and shouted slogans opposing the draft CZMP prepared by a Chennai-based agency.
Abhijit Prabhudesai, speaking to this daily, said that if the minister says that the draft CZMP is scrapped what is the need to discuss it.
“All the stakeholders have voiced their opinions and the government has to draft a fresh CZMP by taking suggestions of locals into consideration”, he said.
With all efforts by the Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral to get the locals for the presentation going in vain, the presentation was conducted in the presence of few people and some government officials.
Local MLA Isidore Fernandes and Canacona municipal chairperson Nitu Desai were on the dais with the environment minister.
While seated in the audience were Purna Naique, Cola sarpanch, Abel Borges, Agonda sarpanch, councillor Hemant Naik Gaonkar and Arvind Desai.
Cabral took a dig at the NGOs by saying that their numbers have increased and he does not know who is funding them to oppose each and every thing.
“If we do not do this exercise then the draft CZMP will be accepted which has lot of flaws and the locals will be in trouble. Hence, without getting misled by activists participate and register suggestions and objections,” the minister told the people.
While the presentation was in progress, local MLA Isidore Fernandes came out of the meeting hall and, while addressing the public outside the hall, he assured them that he is with the people of Canacona and the CZMP has to be scrapped and new CZMP has to be drafted.
Various activists spoke outside the venue on how the plan
has been prepared by the Chennai-based company with scant thought to marking
the coastal fishing villages, tourism areas, burial grounds, private
properties, pathways leading to the