Requests to permit beach shacks, huts, beach weddings and music festival in the inter-tidal zone; Urges Centre to grant relaxation to continue to allow traditional activities of primary economic importance, supporting livelihood existing since generations in the notified CRZ areas
PANJIM: Notwithstanding to the opposition from the fishing community and several civil society groups, the Goa Government has a given thumbs-up to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) draft Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2018, requesting to permit erection of temporary seasonal structures like beach shacks, huts and other promotional activities like beach wedding and music festival, in the inter-tidal zone, which otherwise are prohibited.
Government has also recommended the Ministry to grant relaxation to continue to allow traditional activities of primary economic importance, supporting livelihood and existing since generations in the notified CRZ areas.
The draft CRZ notification has proposed to reduce the CRZ area upto 50 metres from High Tide Line (HTL) from the current 200 metres, which is been strongly objected by Various Voluntary Associations of Goa (VVAG) and Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE). The NGOs have demanded that the notification be scrapped immediately. In this regard, they had even petitioned the Union Ministry and State government.
In a letter to MoEF Director Arvind Nautiyal, the State Environment Director IAS Ravi Jha has said that department had consultation with various stakeholders and government departments with respect to Draft CRZ notification 2018 and based on their comments, the State makes necessary suggestions to be incorporated in the final CRZ notification 2018.
While seeking benefit for the tourism sector, State has pointed out that the draft notification is in supersession of the earlier notification of 2011, which gave special consideration for the State of Goa by relaxing certain norms for regulation of permissible activities in the CRZ areas irrespective whether the area falls in CRZ I, CRZ II, CRZ III or CRZ IV.
“It is therefore necessary to include temporary season structures erected in the months from September to May as permissible activity in CRZ IB, CRZ IIA and B and CRZ III A and B as per the new draft notification,” Jha said.
“List of permissible activities in CRZ IB, CRZ IIA and B and CRZ III A and B area should provide for water sports facilities, beach wedding, musical festivals etc,” he stated.
The draft notification has allowed temporary tourism facilities only in CRZ II and CRZ III areas beyond No Development Zone (NDZ). However, the department is now asking it to be permitted in CRZ IB area which is intertidal zone i.e. the area between Low Tide Line (LTL) and High Tide Line (HTL), where such activities are prohibited.
The State has also sought relaxation for setting up facilities like lifeguard towers, police booths, public amenities, treatment of waste, in those areas.
Seeking relief for the traditional communities, State has proposed that construction and reconstruction of dwelling units of the local resident cum legal citizen may be permitted in the CRZ areas as per local Town and Country Planning Rules.
“It is very important and essential that the traditional activities of primary economic importance should be allowed to be continued without any legal impediments and only in such cases whereby structures existed prior to 1991 notification or other genuine cases whereby it is established that such traditional activities supporting livelihood are running/ existing since generations, may be relaxed to even lesser distances only with proper study by the experts,” Jha said.