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NGOs, major political parties up the ante against draft CRZ notification; stage protest

Vasco: Claiming that the government has brought in the draft CRZ notification 2018 to opening up the coastline for port-led development and mega projects without accessing the need to protect the fragile coastal ecosystem, NGOs, political parties and activists, under the banner of ‘Goans against CRZ 2018’, staged a protest at Cansaulim on Wednesday.

Representatives of NGOs Goans for Goa (GFG), Musical Warriors, Transform Goa, Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) and Goa Against Coal (GAC); Congress, Aam Admi Party (AAP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) besides social activists under the banner of ‘Goans against CRZ 2018’ also garlanded the statue of late Matanhy Saldanha and remembered him for his contribution in protecting the coastal environment in particular and the environment at large.

They slammed the Centre, state government, Union Minister of Environment and Forest (MoEF) Dr Harsh Vardhan and state Environment Minister Manohar Parrikar for “supporting” the amendments done in the 2011 notification dated July 2, 2018.

The speakers informed that by deleting, substituting and addition of the sub clause 1(iii), 5 (iii, iv and v) and in paragraph 8 under the heading ‘I. CRZ-I’, in clause (i), after sub-clause (f), of the CRZ notification 2011, the government has opened the coastline for port-led development and mega projects without accessing the need to protect the fragile coastal ecosystem from the already existing pressures of developmental activities.

In order to access the present damage, the MoEF had constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of prof M S Swaminathan in June 2009 to complete the hazard mapping exercise for the purpose of protecting life and property of local communities.

It was said that the “haphazard” and “anti-people” development will put the entire traditional communities and people residing along the coast who constitute about 25 per cent of the population into serious threat of natural calamities.

The amendment done dated July 2, 2018 will only severely affect endemic flora and fauna of such ecologically sensitive areas, degrade the marine ecology, coastal environment and the aesthetic uses of the sea coast and therefore Goans Against CRZ 2018 have demanded immediate withdrawal of all the three amendment to CRZ notification 2011. [NT]

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