Fishermen point to CRZ breaches at Calangute

The carrying capacity is considered only when local livelyhoods are decided. CRZ is not even an issue when outside parties flout CRZ norms

Fishermen residing in the CRZ area at Gauravaddo, Calangute, alleged that a property owner has encroached on a government-owned beach-side land and also cleared sand dune vegetation.

Following a complaint by the residents to Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, the North Goa Planing and Development Authority (NGPDA) has written to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to conduct a site inspection and check the CRZ violations.

According to a local traditional fisherman, Joao Anton Lobo, he was erecting a shed to house his seasonal workers when he was stopped by the property owner from outside Goa. “This land is not private property; it is government property and as per the CRZ notification of 2011, traditional fishermen are allowed to erect temporary structures to house their boats, fishing nets and also workers,” MLA Lobo said.

Anton Lobo also said that those how have purchased huge beach-side properties, have started fencing off the properties, thereby cutting the traditional access routes of the fishermen. This has made it impossible for them to move their boats inland for storage, he said, forcing them to keep the boats on the beach, which is unsafe. He also claimed that water sports operators have encroached on the beach where traditional fishermen conduct their fishing activities, which has affected the fish catch.

Calangute panchayat member Joseph Sequeira alleged that MLA Lobo had constructed the beach-side bungalow owned by a non-Goan at Gauravado, Calangute, which is allegedly blocking the traditional access of fishermen.

“The property deal was brokered by Michael Lobo andthe bungalow built by his construction firm. The fisherman, Joao Lobo, was one of the tenants, and a settlement had been brokered by Michael Lobo, following which they were provided an alternative house. In the settlement, the fishermen had agreed to keep that particular space free,” Sequeira said.

Regarding the encroachment by water sports operators, Sequeira, who represents the ward, said it was done as the people in the area wanted to operate water sport businesses.

 Local traditional fisherman, Joao Anton Lobo, said he was erecting a shed to house his seasonal workers when he was stopped by the property owner from outside Goa