The Union Ministry for Environment and Forests has notified the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 replacing the earlier 1991 that was in force. While the violations of 1991 notification will be proceeded against and completed within a period of six months, respite has been given to the traditional coastal communities including fishing communities and tribals.
For Goa while maintaining the special consideration as suggested in the Draft Notification published last year, a new clause has been included to give legitimacy to the temporary beach shacks which were hitherto regulated by the Tourism Department of the State.
Under CRZ 2011 purely temporary structures erected along the beaches for the period of November to May will be permitted thus bringing respite to beach shack owners who had to battle various forces every year as their structures never had any legitimacy.
The CRZ 2011 has given a big relief particularly to Goan coastal inhabitants as nearly 8,000 dwellings were threatened with demolition as it provides not only for regularization of their structures but also relaxes the ‘no development zone’ for them.
While up to 200 mts from the High Tide Line has been designated as a ‘no development zone’ in the case of traditional coastal occupants, this has been reduced to 100 mts meaning that their structures in 100 mts to 200 mts from the HTL will not be considered to be violations.
The CRZ 2011 was notified after a lengthy process of consultation that took more than one-and-a-half year. Initially the ministry had a consultative process at 10 different places in the country where affected people were given an opportunity to air their views and the minister personally attended some of them.
Subsequently, a pre-draft notification as published inviting comments following which the draft notification was published about three months back. Taking cognizance of the various suggestions and objections, Senthilvel, an officer from the Ministry was given the task to negotiate with the various organizations representing the coastal inhabitants under the umbrella of National Fishworkers Forum which is headed by Goan Matanhy Saldanha.
Mr. Senthilvel held three rounds of talks with the representatives and finally the notification was published on Friday.
The State government has been given four months time to identify the violations of CRZ 1991 and another four months to deal with them with specific instructions that violations by traditional coastal occupants have to be viewed in the new perspective.
Besides mapping all the fishing villages in the State as mandated by the new notification, the minister also disclosed that sand dunes, mangroves, beach stretches along bays and creeks will also be surveyed and mapped.
Goa’s Minister for Environment, Aleixo Sequeira expressed confidence of meeting the deadlines set.