The fishing community of Goa held dharnas at five post offices – Mapusa, Panjim, Vasco, Margao and Canacona – to protest against the Draft Coastal Zone Regulation Notification 2010.
Goans had to sacrifice fish from their diet today as all the major fish markets were also closed.
The protest was in response to the call given by the National Fishworkers Forum to observe 29th October as a protest day all over the country.
The fishing community is agitated primarily because the Ministry of Environment and Forests conducted 10 consultations in different coastal states to elicit the views and suggestions of the fishing community and other traditional occupants of the coastline and ironically none of the recommendations made by them have found place in the draft notification.
Instead of seeking to strengthen environmental protection of the coastline, the draft notification seeks to throw open the coastal land to vested interest and attempts to further tamper with the 1991 notification which mostly is observed in violation than implementation, said NFF chairman Matanhy Saldanha.
Industries and projects that do not require foreshore or waterfront facilities are permitted under the Draft Notification and this is strongly objected to by NFF which wants the notification to stick the basic principle of 1991 wherein only those industries requiring foreshore or waterfront facilities were to be permitted.
“There is no scope for having nuclear plants, thermal plants, housing colonies and SEZs in the coastland,” said Matanhy who had earlier led the agitation against SEZ in Goa.
As for the special consideration given to Goa, he dismissed it as no consideration at all given the fact that all the concessions given to the fishing community in Goa are also available to other fishing communities in other parts of the country. “They have only repeated what is provided for others under the new paragraph as special consideration for Goa,” he said.
As for the protection of khazan lands in Goa, Matanhy questioned the ministry on why the khazan lands was not classified as CRZ-1 which would have automatically meant that no development of whatsoever nature could take place there and thus these lands would be protected.
He said the fishermen community all over the country will continue to agitate till the Draft CRZ Notification 2010 is withdrawn.