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Government to help save coastal dwellings of traditional fishermen

PANAJI: A state delegation will soon call on Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar with a request to amend the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2011, in order to protect the dwellings of the traditional fishermen situated along the Goan coastline.
Coming out with this information, Minister for Environment Alina Saldanha on Thursday told the state legislative assembly that the department of environment has not detected cases of CRZ violations in the state. However, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has received a total of 478 complaints cases related to Goa, during the period from April 1, 2012, to July 15, 2014, pertaining to the alleged CRZ notification 2011.
“As of now, all the traditional fishermen residing along the coastline have to apply for regularisation of their dwellings, provided these structures existed before 1991,” Saldanha added, pointing out that once applications are received, the government will conduct site inspection for these dwellings. “However, until an amendment is brought to the particular notification, the government cannot start the actual process of regularisation of these dwellings,” she noted, observing that the state government would not be able to dispose off these applications until the necessary amendment to the
notification.
It may be recalled that the traditional fisherfolk residing within 500 metres of the high tide line along the state’s coastline from Arambol to Canacona are facing threat to their dwellings by way of the particular notification. These people have received repeated notices from mamlatdars, deputy collectors, village panchayats, Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) and even courts. Under provisions of the new CRZ notification 2011 – Clause 6 (d) – dwelling units constructed by traditional inhabitants post-1991 and not having approval from authorities can be considered for regularisation, provided these stretches are not used for commercial activity or are sold or leased out to non-traditional local community.
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Speaking further, the Minister for Environment said that the delegation calling on the Union Minister for Environment will also discuss with him the possibility of regularising those houses within 500 metres of the high tide line along the state coastline, which existed before 1991, but whose owners have no relevant documents to prove the same.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, replying to a related supplementary from leader of the opposition Pratapsingh Rane said that the Goa State Pollution Control Board will give its decision as regards a petrol pump located on the left bank of the Valvonti river, Sakhali, which as per the locals is polluting the main sources of raw water used by the Podoshem, Assonora and Sakhali water treatment plants.
“The government had permitted the petrol pump owner to sell 12,000 litres stock of petrol stored in the tank, from safety point of view,” he added, pointing out that the particular petrol pump has presently been closed down.

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