The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has received a total of 11 applications a day before the end of deadline to regularise projects that had been constructed without violating the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rule but failed to obtain prior clearance.
The last date for submitting the recommendation to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) as per the notification was June 30. As the applications were received only one day prior to the last due date, they could not be examined by the
The authority has now decided to examine the applications on case-to-case basis to check if these projects were constructed in violation of CRZ rule and forward the recommendation to MoEF&CC for appropriate decision.
The government had expected maximum number of applications seeking relaxation of the rules from traditional fishermen community with regard to the construction of new houses and repair of the existing ones. But most of the applications for regularisation were from the real estate and infrastructure sector and very few fishermen applied for the same.
On March 6 this year, the MoEF&CC had made amendments to the 2011 CRZ notification, providing a three-month window to projects to apply for regularisation that had begun the work without prior environmental clearance.
“All activities, which are otherwise permissible under the provisions of this notification but have commenced construction without prior clearance, would be considered for regularisation only in such cases wherein the projects have been applied for regularisation in the specified time,” says the notification.
According to the new rules, only those projects will be eligible for relaxation where activities permissible under the CRZ notification have been undertaken and the construction work for the project does not fall in the list of prohibited activities of coastal zone management
The latest amendment also held that the CRZ clearance accorded to the projects under this notification shall be valid for a period of seven years from the date of issue of such clearance.
The GCZMA has received 436 complaints, and it has been found that nearly 65 per cent of the CRZ violations in the state have occurred along the coastal belt of Bardez with 151 cases reported in the taluka between April 1, 2016 and May 31,
Most of the complaints were relating to illegal construction of hotels, huts, buildings as well as extension and reconstruction of houses without CRZ clearance. There were also complaints of cutting of mangroves and illegal land filling.
The second highest number of complaints of CRZ violations is in Salcete taluka with 91 complaints followed by Pernem 55 and Tiswadi taluka 51.
Other talukas from where CRZ violations are being investigated are Pernem and Canacona (45), Mormugao (33), Ponda and Quepem (4), Bicholim (2), and Sanguem nil.
Of these complaints in which action was initiated by the authority, lamentably, only 41 complaints were disposed of while 296 matters are still pending for report from deputy collector and village panchayat for further