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Consultative meetings for new CZMP to begin this week

Panaji: Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Monday said that consultative meetings in villages from ten talukas falling under the coastal regulation zone will be held every Friday and Saturday so as to elicit  stakeholders’ views for preparing new draft coastal zone management plan.

The consultative meetings will begin later this week, and have been aimed at expeditiously preparing the draft CZMP to meet the NGT deadline.

The government wants to factor in suggestions of fishermen, NGOs, panchayats and villagers while drawing up the draft plan.

The meetings will be attended by the Environment Minister, officials of the environment department and land survey, and members of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority and the Goa State Pollution Control Board.

“We are very serious about finding a solution to the issue. The meetings will be held every Friday and Saturday in each CRZ taluka covering 168 villages… I have met Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar and also the secretary of environment and forest, explaining them the situation,” he said. 

The minister said that they are collecting and analysing all the past studies conducted by scientists and different agencies on khazan lands, salt marsh, sand-dunes, mangroves, coral reefs and mudflats.

These inputs could be integrated into the draft plan, Cabral said.

Doubts and suggestions that will come from the people at the meetings will be recorded in a separate register. All the questions will be answered by officials to allay people’s apprehensions.

Valid suggestions will also be included in the draft plan, he  said.

In June, the official public consultation on the CZMP was called off after fishermen and civil society members pointed to flaws in the draft coastal zone map plan that had been drawn up by the Chennai-based National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, and now stands rejected by the government.

They had asked the authority to work out a comprehensive plan detailing land use, housing needs, existing structures on the seaward side, and sensitive areas in the CRZ villages.

The coastal regulation notification, 2011 mandates all the states to put in place a CZMP to regulate development along the coast.

The National Green Tribunal has set the deadline of August 31, 2019 to prepare the draft as per the CRZ notification. The green watchdog has stipulated that public hearing must be held and the draft plan must be submitted to the ministry of environment and forest for its approval.

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