Citizens’ group irked by attempt to reduce NDZ

United Goans Foundation (UGF), on Thursday, condemned the attempt of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF) to decrease the ambit of the no-development zone (NDZ) from 200m to 50m away from the high tide line (HTL).

Addressing a press conference, UGF’s Judith Almeida said the CRZ Notification 2011 has provisions to protect the rights of the traditional fishermen, including their dwelling units. She claimed the proposal was a clear indication that the government wants to facilitate corporate houses that have properties along Goa’s coastline to extend their commercial activities closer to the sea and rivers. Almeida said that the CRZ notification 1991 and 2011, which were scientifically formulated keeping in mind the rise in sea levels and the potential effects of global warming, have been sought to be diluted for vested interests.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently acknowledged that the number of cases from Goa stands at 45%,. This is a clear indication that the environment of our tiny state is being destroyed,” she claimed.

Almeida went on to say that the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority(GCZMA)which is the nodal agency to protect the CRZ and its environmentis itself sought to be made defunct. “Complaints filed are not resolved. Multiple show cause notices are issued for a single violation but no action is appropriated. Citizens and NGOs who make a conscientious effort are sent round in circles, forcing them to approach the courts and now, the NGT,” she pointed out, adding that in a matter of two months, two member secretaries have been shunted out and the third is holding multiple charges of the civil supplies department, directorate of environment, department of science, technology and environment, and the GCZMA.