PANJIM: The Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT) has demanded withdrawal of the Coastal Regulation Zone 2018 notification issued by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change on December 28 claiming it is a death knell of the coastal communities.
"The notification is a death knell of the coastal communities. The Government of India deceived the citizens of the country by merely executing a draft notification Coastal Regulation Zone 2018 in April 2018 seeking comments and suggestions from the people. However, a detailed perusal of the recently issued notification is a verbatim reproduction of the draft notification, which is a clear indication that this government does not want to listen to its people but follows orders received from elsewhere. This notification 2018 is a perfect assault on environment and traditional livelihoods," a press statement issued by CRT Executive Secretary Freddy Braganza said.
The association has alleged that the CRZ notification of 2018 is a planned erosion of the CRZ notification 2011 while apprehending that by reducing the CRZ area to 50m from the hazard lines, it will create an environmental crisis and damage the fragile coastal ecology resulting in imminent floods. Braganza alleged that the notification does not protect the ecology and livelihoods of the coastal inhabitants.
The association pointed out the absence of the critical formulation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), as per the CRZ Notification 2011.
"This notification violates Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India which mandates the protection and improvement of the natural environment, including forest, lakes, rivers and wildlife and have compassion for living creatures. It further violates Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 which requires the Central Government to
protect and improve the quality of the environment and prevent, control and halt environmental degradation," it said claiming that the notification allows commercial activities with interference to sand dunes.
"Activities that are detrimental to the coastal ecology and that will displace the local communities and affect the biodiversity are granted positive approval. The wilful dilution and reduction in the protection given to the environment is categorically permitted. This notification regularises the violations to CRZ and opens the way to further destruction of our coastal ecology. CRT emphatically rejects CRZ notification 2018 and categorically demands that it be withdrawn," the association demanded.