Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Wednesday said the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, which prepared the controversial draft coastal zone management plan 2011 for the state, has rejected three important recommendations of the state government made for incorporating in the draft CZMP.
On Tuesday, Cabral had led a state delegation and met top NCSCM officials in Chennai. The delegation put forth the recommendations of the state government before the agency, urging it to incorporate Goa’s requirements in the draft plan that has become a bone of contention in Goa.
On the government’s plea not to demarcate the high tide line beyond sluice gates and bunds, the NCSCM has clarified that if sluice gates are functional and bunds are not breached then the HTL demarcation has been restricted at sluice gates/bunds in the draft CZMP for Goa as well as CZMPs for other states, Cabral told media persons during a press conference addressed in the state legislative assembly.
However, wherever the sluice gates are not functional and the bunds are breached then the NCSCM has demarcated the HTL beyond the sluice gates in terms of the manual.
The NCSCM has maintained that it is not in a position to demarcate all khazan lands, aquaculture ponds, and saltpans and categorise them as eco-sensitive areas.
The centre for coastal management has also stated that it cannot make changes in the scale of CZMP maps from 1:25,000 to 1:4000 scale without the approval of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
The NCSCM has asked the state government to approach the Union environment ministry for approval if Goa wants its requirements to be incorporated in the draft CZMP.
“A majority of our recommendations have been accepted by the NCSCM, We will approach the MoEF&CC with all our concerns once we complete public consultations in the state and try to get the requirements approved,” Cabral said.
The NCSCM has agreed to incorporate in the draft CZMP the details on fisheries infrastructure, fishing
zones, fish breeding areas, water quality indicating pollution levels.
The details have been provided by the state environment department to the agency.
Cabral said the NCSCM has urged the government to provide the details of the authorised development of structures along seaside like cyclone shelter, ramps, jetties, roads etc.
“The NCSCM office has informed us that other residential and commercial structures have not been depicted in the draft CZMP maps before the notification issued. However, same could be depicted while preparing local CZMP maps for implementation. The agency has also clarified that the depiction or non-depiction in the CZMP does not determine legal status of a structure,” he explained.
It was brought to the notice of the NCSCM that certain data on fish landing centres, traditional fishing parks, road networks, access to the beaches have not been depicted in the CZMP maps.
The state government will provide necessary data to the agency for inclusion of fisheries-related structures in the draft CZMP.
Admitting that the people have raised concerns over demarcation of sand dunes and mangroves, Cabral assured that his department will carry out ‘ground truthing’ in such cases and details on actual position will be forwarded to the NCSCM to carry out necessary changes in the draft CZMP.