Taking cognisance of the concerns raised by fisherfolk and environmentalists over the rejected draft coastal zone management plan, Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday said the government will hold talks with stakeholders, including local self-governing bodies in all the 12 talukas, to elicit their inputs for preparing new CZMP.
The minister said that dates for consultations will be announced soon.
There had been widespread opposition to the draft CZMP unveiled on June 6 for public comments. The concerned citizens had rubbished the draft plan as “incomplete”.
Following the public outcry, the government binned the draft CZMP, and postponed the public hearing.
The government has asked the Goa State Coastal Management Authority to prepare a new draft CZMP.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function at Saligao, Cabral maintained that the government cannot hold public hearing using incomplete maps, which have not clearly demarcated the land-use plan of the area. The maps have not factored in existing authorised developments on the seaward side.
“People have not understood the CZMP well, and have been carried away by the activism of the civil society. I will soon call a meeting of all stakeholders, including panchayats from all the 12 talukas. We will elicit their feedback,” he said.
The minister said the government will instruct the people on functions, guidelines and requirements involved in preparing the new CZMP based on the CRZ Notification, 2011.
The CRZ Notification, 2011 will be looked upon as a foundation for preparing the new CZMP.
And thereafter the 2018 CZMP will be formulated based on 2011 CZMP, which will be drafted soon.
Cabral said that there has been confusion among the fishing communities. They fear that they will lose their houses if they come under the ambit of the hazard line.
“The hazard line has nothing to do with houses. The hazard line is merely a tool to demarcate tsunami waves. The need for hazard mapping for coastal planning gained relevance after the 2004 tsunami,” he explained.
The GCZMA on Monday postponed the public hearing scheduled for July 7 on the draft CZMP.
The authority has not finalised new date for the public hearing.
The decision to postpone the public hearing was taken at a GCZMA meeting.
A GCZMA official said that it is not possible for them to visit all the 126 villages, which are mapped under the draft CZMP, to hear their grievances and also conduct the public hearing within the limited time of two months.
The GCZMA has submitted written objections and suggestions received from the people on the rejected draft CZMP to the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, which had prepared the maps.
The authority is now in a quandary on meeting the deadline of August 31, 2019 fixed by the National Green Tribunal, which has mandated to prepare the draft as per the CRZ notification, conduct public hearing and submit the plan to the Union ministry of environment and forest for approval.