Former minister Matanhy Saldanha who is also the Chairman of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), came down heavily on the Centre for not considering the suggestions and objections of the fishing community while issuing the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification this year.
Participating in the ‘Consultation on Ensuring Fishworker Participation in implementation of CRZ 2011’, organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) at Chennai, he also castigated the government for its failure to act on the CRZ violations till date.
He said most of the suggestions made by the fishing community from all over the country have been ignored by the ministry while formulating the new CRZ notification.
NFF General Secretary Rambhau Patil while pointing out that the local inhabitants including the fishing community, are the first to be affected whenever any degradation of the coastal environment occurs, said the fishing community will not take the government’s high handed attitude lying down.
The two day consultation saw the government officials being grilled by representatives of the fishing community who pointed out various violations of CRZ under the guise of tourism, industrial development and demanded to know why no action was taken against them.
Besides, the fishing community also demanded that the government clarify its position on development of new ports and pointed out that ports were being permitted anywhere and everywhere along the country’s coastline.