01 Sep 2016 06:44am IST
S ASHOKKUMAR CANACONA
Illegal sand extraction, cutting of trees is causing destruction of the beach, that is famous for turtle conservation
The officials from Forest, Revenue and GCZMA have undertaken an inspection at Galgibaga beach, Canacona along with a team of Panchayat members for CRZ violation.
According to Kishor Poinginkar, Chairman of Poiginkaracho Ekvott, the officials surveyed the area to check for presence of either any temporary or permanent structure.
Kishor further said that Poinginkaracho Ekvott had filed an appeal in 2015, which the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had admitted for execution in January 2016, based on the report by the State Government authorities that there was no tourism activity on the acquired land.
Prominent residents of Galgibaga feel that the Galgibaga beach, which is one of the more popular beaches in the Canacona taluka, is losing its charm and beauty due to illegal extraction of sand and cutting of trees, which are going on unabated for several months. The cutting of casuarinas trees, along the Galgibaga, Talpona, Patnem and Tarrir belt has also caused soil erosion.
Residents in the area said that the authorities are not bothered about the issue of soil erosion in the coastal belt. They said that they live in fear of the sea during the monsoons as the waves lash and wash away precious land, destroying trees and vegetation.
The officials also inspected private property close to the land acquired for turtle conservation centre at Galgibaga.
“Galgibaga and Agonda, Canacona, are the two famous beaches for turtle conservation. To prevent it from illegal encroachment is the need of hour,” said Environmentalist Kishor Poinginkar.
Speaking to Herald, Range Forest Officer Gaonkar said the Turtle Nesting Zone is not only restricted to the beach areas of Galgibaga coast till Talpona beach, which is the property of the Forest Department.
Sources also informed that the NGT order has also wisely ordered the secure protection of turtle nestling areas and no entry to the tourists be allowed to be exploited for commercial purpose in any manner.
This is the clear cut order to ban any type of tourism, development, except for the preservation of the coast for turtle rehabilitations.
Kishor Poinginkar further said that the order passed by NGT will ensure the survival of the Galgibaga beach’s eco-sensitive sand dunes.
It will also help to protect the flora and fauna of the surrounding.
With the Forest Department protecting the Galgibaga beach for turtle nesting, poaching of turtles has stopped from 1999. “Since then the Olive Ridley turtles have been visiting the beach to lay eggs,” added RFO Gaonkar.