Govt gets deadline to scrap CRZ 2018 notification by March 23
Hundreds of Goans descended on Lohia Maidan in Margao on Saturday evening to oppose the new coastal regulation zone (CRZ) 2018 notification with a unanimous voice saying the new changes would make way for big projects, thereby affecting traditional occupations, tourism and destroying khazan land in the
The main demand at the meeting was to scrap the notification and instead revert to the CRZ 2011 norms that, according to the conscious citizens, safeguarded traditions and the environment.
People from the villages of Morjim, Caranzalem, Dona Paula, Cansaulim, Nerul, Vasco, Panaji, Colva and Velsao were in attendance for the meeting that saw Congress and other political leaders join NGOs in burning a copy of the CRZ 2019.
Organised by the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in association with the Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott (GRE), the month-long agitation that began in Goa on Saturday will continue along other coastal states of India till March 23. Citizens at the meeting threatened to hold a Goa bandh after March 23 if the demand to scrap the new notification was not heeded.
General secretary of Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott Olencio Simoes, highlighting the problems that would arise owing to the new notification, said that the fishermen community would be the most affected due to the changes that would come about, adding, the fish will move away as more hotels will come up and, hence, increase in discharge of sewage into the water.
Citing an instance, he said “Today in Maharashtra, fishermen have to go beyond 12 nautical miles to catch fish.”
He also called the 2,161 per square metre clause in the new notification as a means to create confusion among people. Tourism, he said, will also be severely affected.
Congress MLAs Babu Kavlekar, Clafacio Dias, Wilfred D’Sa, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Digambar Kamat, party president Girish Chodankar and youth and mahila members as well as AAP convener Elvis Gomes, NCP president Jose Philip D’Souza and Goencho Avaz convenor Viriato Fernandes came out in support of the demand.
Convener of Goans For Dabolim Only Fr Eremito Rebello said that the high tide line does not remain constant and with global warming causing tsunamis and storms, the reduction of the CRZ area from 200 metres to 50 metres will prove dangerous. “The key is in your hands with the elections coming soon,” he said.