NFF in association with Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott will kick off its first protest at Lohia Maidan, Margao on Feb 23 followed by National protest on February 25 at Gujarat, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, February 26 at Tamil Nadu, March 9 in Kerala, February 27 at Odisha and March 23 at Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Goa: National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) has declared a month-long national campaign from February 23rd to March 23rd, 2019 in all coastal states against the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2019 issued by the Government of India on January 19 2019.
NFF in association with Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott will kick of its first protest at Lohia Maidan, Margao on Feb 23 followed by National protest on February 25 at Gujarat, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, February 26 at Tamil Nadu, March 9 in Kerala, February 27 at Odisha and March 23 at Maharashtra and West Bengal.
“The National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) has strongly protested against the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification issued by the Government of India on January 19, which drastically dilutes the provisions for protecting the coastal ecosystem. The NFF says this will eventually destroy the livelihoods of fisherfolk along the coast of India as 7500km coastline and 14500km of river line will be concretized for Sagarmala projects. Taking strong objection to the lack of consideration given to fishing community views, the NFF has vowed to fight the new notification. It has demanded the withdrawal of the notification and its replacement with a new law by the Parliament, enacted after an elaborate public debate and discussion. In this connection, the NFF has declared a month-long national campaign from 23 February to 23 March 2019,” the group said in a Facebook post on February 4.
Olencio Simoes Vice Chairperson of NFF has appealed to each and every citizen of Goa to attend the national protest at Lohia Maidan on February 23 as the state is heading towards major catastrophe as the new CRZ notification 2019 will undo all special consideration which Goa had in the CRZ notification 2011, Herald Goa reported.
The CRZ 2011 in section V (3) clearly stated the Government of Goa shall notify the fishing villages by which reconstruction, repair works of the structures of local communities including fishermen community would have been permissible in CRZ. The eco-sensitive low-lying areas which are influenced by tidal action known as khazan lands shall be mapped. The mangroves along such as khazan land shall be protected and a management plan for the khazan land prepared and no developmental activities shall be permitted in the khazan land. Sand dunes, the beach stretches along the bays and creeks shall be surveyed and mapped, the report said.
Corals and coral reefs and associated biodiversity, mudflats, salt marshes, turtle nesting grounds at Mandrem, Morjim, Galgiba and Agonda, horseshoe crabs’ habitats, seagrass beds, nesting grounds of birds, areas or structures of archaeological importance and heritage sites, all these eco-sensitive areas which had to be mapped and surveyed in the Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) will be now open for haphazard development in the CRZ notification 2019.
Agnelo Rodrigues President of Goenchea Raponkarancho Ekvott has said this is a desperate attempt by the government to push Sagarmala plans which will concretize the entire 105 km of Coastline of Goa and 180 km of river line of Goa, the report quoted.
Olencio Simoes stated the central government and the state government has purposely confused the people of Goa by inserting a new clause in section 2.3.2 CRZ-III B of the new CRZ notification 2019 that if the population density of Goa is less than 2161 per square kilometre, as per 2011 census base then the NDZ would be 200 mts and if the population density is more than 2161 per square kilometre then the NDZ would be 50 mts, the report said.
NFF and GRE called it a bluff as the previous notification has been already amended 37 times and did not think there was a guarantee that the state or central government would give them an assurance section 2.3.2 CRZ III B would not be amended.
“Apart from ignoring basic tenets of policy-making, where the communities are also an important part, the BJP-led central government did away with the need for approval from the ministry of law and justice on the draft version of subordinate legislation. It deemed that a one-time review by the law ministry at the time of finalisation of a policy was enough. Accordingly, the draft CRZ law was not viewed by the law ministry and their inputs were not even asked for,” they said in a statement.
“NFF strongly believes the government has ignored maintaining a well-demarcated hazard line and factoring in the effects of climate change on sea levels. Rather than having a policy which improves the lives of the coastal communities and protects the environment, the CRZ 2019 will pave the route for a more disastrous effect where the coastlines will be even more vulnerable. The CRZ 2019 is merely giving more access to the corporate-led lop-sided development where the fish workers, their livelihoods and the environment is completely ignored,” Times of India reported the forum as saying.
“It’s just an eyewash as the government cannot put the new CRZ notification 2019 in force until they complete the Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) as per The NGT order on Original Application Nos. 11/2014 and 424 of 2016 issued on 22nd November 2017. So once the CZMPs is complete the new notification will be in force and the government will certainly amend the notification and will reduce NDZ to the entire state to 50mts, to the detriment of the coastal communities. Therefore, NFF n GRE has demanded the central and state government to withdraw the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2019 with immediate effect,” they said.